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Tommy Dorfman Called Out Delta For Misgendering Her—Now She's Getting Transphobic Backlash

Tommy Dorfman Called Out Delta For Misgendering Her—Now She's Getting Transphobic Backlash

Tommy Dorfman
Lev Radin/Shutterstock

The actress deleted a TikTok she shared confronting an employee.

rachelkiley

A TikTok from Tommy Dorfman calling out Delta Airlines employees who misgendered her has prompted a wave of backlash from transphobes online.

Over the weekend, Dorfman shared a 30-second clip to the social media platform, indicating that she had been trying to “advocate for [herself]” by bringing up an issue to a gate agent, but was met with resistance.

“And what about when a Delta employee misgenders you intentionally?” she is heard asking the employee. The employee then appears to tell someone off-screen that they are talking over Dorfman, initially referring to Dorfman as “she” before inaccurately correcting himself and saying “he.”

“You just misgendered me again,” Dorfman points out. “Multiple times. Both of you have.”

The employee says that it wasn’t intentional, to which the 13 Reasons Why star claims that the employee she interacted with initially—who did not appear on camera—actually did misgender her on purpose.

“You’re being condescending, and if you want to continue, I’ll have Port Authority escort you out the building, right this moment, if you want to play that game with me,” the worker says. “Would you like to continue, three days before Christmas? I really don’t mind.”

Two things are true—transphobia has been a rising issue in the United States and airlines have reported an increase in mistreatment of their workers by passengers. This is not to say that these two things are equal, or have similar impacts on society as a whole, but without more than 30 seconds of context in Dorfman’s video or knowledge of the initial incident that sparked the confrontation, it is a little difficult to parse the situation fairly.

And maybe there would have been a conversation worth having otherwise. But as it stands, transphobes immediately jumped on the TikTok and committed to framing the situation as a trans person seeking attention and making life difficult for others, rather than, as Dorfman wrote on her since-deleted video, a frustrated passenger approaching a gate agent to “flag a human rights violation after another employee misgendered me incessantly.”

It’s a bitter end to a year that has seen wave after wave of online harassment against trans people just for existing, most notably the absurd backlash against trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney after Bud Light enlisted her to promote their beer to her audience.

As for this particular incident, Delta has said that they are “looking into the matter” after the video went viral. Dorfman does not appear to have commented on things further after taking down her TikTok.

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Rachel Kiley

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.