Netflix Star Goes Viral For Delta Video Controversy Over Gender

By Zack Zagranis | Published

Tommy Dorfman playing Ryan Shaver on 13 Reasons Why

Trans actress Tommy Dorfman went viral recently with a video of a Delta employee misgendering her. Best known for her role as Ryan Shaver in the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, the 31-year-old actress posted the video to her TikTok last weekend. The roughly 30-second clip resulted in a sizable discourse over the situation—and the trans community in general—from both the left and the right.

In the video, Tommy Dorfman—who came out as transgender in 2021—describes a situation at LaGuardia Airport in New York City where several employees misgendered her. The actress alleges that the misgendering was intentional, while the employees themselves maintain that it was an honest mistake. “When you try to advocate for yourself at @delta and are met with [SIC] even more transphobia [SIC] and threats of being arrested at LaGuardia [SIC],” Dorfman said in the post.

Dorfman’s post is no longer available on her TikTok account, but a 16-second clip of her interacting with one of the employees who misgendered her was posted to X two days ago. Conservative figure Collin Rugg posted the clip along with his own thoughts on the matter, “Delta employee fed up with the pronoun police & threatens to kick man out of LaGuardia airport who whined about being “misgendered.”

Tommy Dorfman’s voice can be heard at the very beginning of the clip asking, “What about when a Delta employee misgenders you intentionally?” followed by a Delta employee immediately misgendering the actress again. The employee can be heard using the correct pronoun, she, first when describing Dorfman before quickly switching to “he,” a pronoun the actress doesn’t use to identify herself. “You just misgendered me again,” the actress tells him, to which the employee seems to respond, “OK.”

The Delta Employee goes on to tell the actress that the misgendering wasn’t intentional but that if she wants to “take it that way,” she’s free to do so. When Tommy Dorfman points out that the employee actually used the correct pronoun first and then went out of his way to change it, he responds by calling the actress “condescending,” and threatens to have Port Authority “escort” her out of the building. The employee then snidely asks, “Would you like to continue, three days before Christmas? I really don’t mind.”

Rugg, infamous for his right-wing stances on hot-button issues, posted the video, no doubt hoping to get engagement from like-minded X users, something he definitely achieved.

The character Ryan Shaver on 13 Reasons Why

“These malignant narcissists think every one must be forced to validate their mental illness or else it’s a ‘human rights violation.’ Good for this man. The sooner this social blackmail ends, the better.” read one comment under Rugg’s post. Rugg responded by championing the employee caught misgendering Tommy Dorfman in the video, saying: “Most of America feels like this employee.”

“This is great!” wrote another X user. “The minority cannot continue to bully people into playing along with their nonsense.” “He handled it perfectly,” Rugg answered, again praising the Delta employee.

Meanwhile, Delta’s website claimed that the airline has made a “long-standing commitment” to diversity, equity, and inclusion. A spokesperson for Delta recently released a statement stating that Delta is “aware” of the Tommy Dorfman video and is “looking into the matter,” including contacting Dorfman to get a more detailed account of what happened.