Out 13 Reasons Why star Tommy Dorfman recently collaborated with illustrator Paul Tuller to make a fundraising T-shirt that addresses a Brazilian court ruling legalizing "conversion therapy." All of the proceeds will benefit Grupo Gay de Bahia, a nonprofit LGBT organization based in São Paolo. The shirt says “Cura Gay,” which means “Gay Cure." The “Cura” on the shirt is crossed out to signify that you cannot “cure” homosexuality — nor does it need to be cured.
"When I heard the news of [Brazilian judge] Waldemar de Carvalho issuing a ruling to approve gay conversion therapy in Brazil, after it was banned for nearly 20 years, my heart broke," Dorfman says. "So many of my fans and supporters live in Brazil, and it pains me to see them not feel legitimized for who they are and who they are attracted to."
Dorfman felt an instant calling to do something, so he reached out to Tuller, who designed a shirt in support of LGBT people in Chechnya, and they collaborated on the concept together.
"This idea that you can 'cure' homosexuality is appalling and simply not true," Dorfman tells The Advocate. "There is no Cura Gay, there’s just gay. Or not. Or however you identify, and nobody should have say over something so personal and inherent. I hope this shirt resonates with people and we’re able to raise a shit ton of money for the GGB to resist this ruling."
The star received the Lavender Award for an up-and-coming actor at last week's OUTShine film fest opening night gala in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. In addition to portraying gay teenager Ryan Shaver in the hit Netflix series, Dorfman has been an outspoken LGBT advocate, spotlighting the issus of bullying in the age of social media.
“LGBTQIA inclusion in media, especially TV and film, is not just important, it's essential," Dorfman says. "It would be reductive and unrealistic to exclude us from the narrative. We exist, and our truthful portrayals in TV and film bring life to the stories being told, as well as educate, inspire, and validate viewers."
You can buy the tee here and watch Dorfman's acceptance speech at OUTShine below.