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Tommy Dorfman says she’s “never felt better in my life” after making her transition and has even received support from her conservative hometown community, following years of grappling with her mental health.
In a new interview for InStyle magazine — which took place just a week after Dorfman’s Time magazine interview — the actress shared that she had begun taking hormones as part of her transition and it had radically changed how she felt. The experience, which she describes as “wild,” also followed years of being depressed and suicidal, as well as managing various addictions.
“There are so many ways you can do it,” she said, speaking to the various paths of one’s transition. “I only take hormones. I just switched my hormones, and I’ve never felt better in my life. I spent 28 years of my life suicidal and depressed and recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction. I don’t think I’ve ever been genuinely happy until this past year. I look at the Internet chronicle of photos of me since I started working, and I can see how fucking unhappy I was in every photo. It’s wild.”
The shift was noticed by Dorfman’s friends as well, including one she hadn’t seen since the pandemic lockdowns began. After running into him on her birthday, Dorfman recalled the friend saying she “used to be so mean” but is “so nice now.”
“I was living as a woman and gave him a big hug, and he was like, ‘Um, you used to be so mean. You used to be such a bitch. You’re so nice now.’ And I was like, ‘That’s really funny. I don’t think I was a bitch; I was just really uncomfortable,'” Dorfman recounted. “He said, ‘No, you had the bitchiest face. I was always scared to talk to you at a party because you looked so cold.'”
Dorfman, who reintroduced herself in July after chronicling her gender journey for several months on Instagram, said that just two weeks into taking estrogen, she felt “grounded.”
“I can sleep now. I wake up moderately happy. I felt it hit, and I was like, ‘Let’s ride,'” she explained. “And as the testosterone leaves my body, I feel so much better. I’m more energized. I feel how I think I was always supposed to feel.”
While Dorfman has been transitioning for some time, she said the decision to do so was actually spurred during the pandemic after doing a Calvin Klein campaign in New York for Pride. Seeing herself on “the big Lafayette Street billboard” was meant to be something she could be proud of, particularly as someone who felt that they were “just supposed to be grateful no matter what” after breaking into the industry. But the actress said it gave her such dysphoria, it ultimately pushed her toward transitioning.
“It was just, like, boy face, boy body, shot by Ryan McGinley. It was supposed to be something I was so proud of, this ‘iconic thing.’ And it was such an honor because it was Pride. But I was just so unhappy. I was looking at it, and it was the most dysphoric I’ve ever felt. Which I think ultimately helped push me along. I didn’t have a choice. I was like, ‘Oh, I have to.'”
Dorfman also said she’s since received support from her more conservative community at home. The actress and director revealed that her parents weren’t able to talk to her immediately after the piece was published because they “were fielding calls.”
“They worked in the car industry, and they were like, ‘These fucking conservatives are so happy for you,'” Dorfman said, laughing. “I was like, ‘Really? Well, maybe there’s a benefit.’ There are some people that I grew up with in the South who I thought I was never going to see again. So it was nice to get text messages and calls from people I grew up going to NASCAR with or who you would expect to be incredibly conservative and not accepting. But to see me, someone they knew as a child, stepping into this space in a public way helped them wrap their heads around it.”
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