The actress lived her transition in the public eye, and she's keeping it that way.

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Tommy Dorfman Ladies First With Laura Brown
Credit: Luke Fontana

Tommy Dorfman is exactly where she's supposed to be right now. It's evident from the beauty and confidence the actress exuded while shooting her subscriber cover of our October beauty issue.

And now on this week's episode of Ladies First with Laura Brown the Thirteen Reasons Why star, who revealed to Time magazine in July that she had transitioned over the last year, is opening up about what it's like to be a trans woman on the cover of woman's fashion magazine.

"I just felt so ready," she told InStyle's editor in chief Laura Brown. "It's the first time I have done a women's magazine ever. You're a magazine for everybody, but historically, more women are on the cover of InStyle than other people. And that felt really validating for me."

Dorfman is using her platform and social media presence to share her transition story with the world, in order to educate others about what it's like, and to be a source of support or guidance for young trans people coming up behind her.

"There's validity and importance to different trans experiences," she tells Brown. "And I had never seen a body in transition. And so to be a person who's on the internet, in television and film, writing things, shooting things, on the cover of InStyle, doing a thing with Time, and not archiving all my Instagram photos from forever ago and allowing people [a glimpse] into the emotional, mental transformation that is required in something like trans puberty, it is something that I think is really valid and hopefully will help a lot of people."

Tommy Dorfman Refuses to Skip Her Ingenue Phase: Episode 38: August 24, 2021

InStyle Ladies First with Laura Brown

Duration: 38 minutes

This podcast may contain cursing that would not be appropriate for listeners under 14. Discretion is advised.

And it seems that her candid documentation has already helped others, as she says that the response to her courage and openness has been quite positive, noting the many DMs on Instagram from LGBTQIA+ youth that thank her for sharing her story.

But while this has been the best way for her to transition, she also wants others to know that there is "no one way" to be a trans woman. "Here's my way, but your way is perfect as well," she says. "You never have to go on hormones. You can go on hormones. There's so many different ways that one can transition. I'm just giving you my experience."

Tommy Dorfman Ladies First With Laura Brown
Credit: Luke Fontana

And she wants to continue being an advocate for young trans people in television and film, already calling out Netflix for not having enough trans characters in their many teen dramas that are at the helm of the streaming platform's success. And with Dorfman's dream of being in the studio producing projects (she's already doing a bit of that now), odds are the trailblazer will be a power player in the future of TV and film.

After all is said and done and Dorfman has left her mark on Hollywood (which she already has), she wants to enjoy the success she's built and the simple joys of life. She names Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick as the benchmark for the "perfect acting career."

"They get to do what they want for the most part," she says. "They provide for their family. They live a really amazing life and they're chilling. Like chef's fucking kiss, right?"

Listen to the full episode and subscribe on ApplePlayerFMSpotifyStitcher, or wherever you find your favorite podcasts. And tune in weekly to Ladies First with Laura Brown hosted by InStyle's editor in chief Laura Brown, who speaks to guests like Michelle Pfeiffer, Emily RatajkowskiCynthia Erivo, Naomi Watts, La La Anthony, Ellen Pompeo, Rep. Katie Porter, and more to discuss current events, politics, some fashion, and, most importantly, the major firsts in their lives.