Tommy Dorfman, FCLC ’15, received the inaugural Rising Star Award at the October 25 GLAAD Gala Atlanta.

The Fordham Theatre grad, who plays Ryan Shaver on the hit Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, was honored for using his celebrity platform to advocate for LGBTQ rights around the world. Fellow Georgia native Tituss Burgess, best known for his role as Titus Andromedon on Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, received the Hometown Hero Award.

“It’s really meaningful—I’m kind of overwhelmed right now,” Dorfman said during his speech, which focused on the importance of recognizing LGBTQ issues in the South and around the world.

“I see messages from queer people around the world [about]  my character [on 13 Reasons Why]. And I’m not like the big character on the show. But just having one very out, proud gay person on this show has made people able to come out to their parents, feel less homophobic, come to terms with their own sexuality,” he said. “Imagine if every show had that inclusion?”


Alexandra Loizzo-Desai can be reached at [email protected] or 212-636-6536.