"I've found that I can be more successful and productive if I loosen up the reins, remain malleable, and stay in the moment."

My favorite food is: French fries My favorite city is: New York

Tommy Dorfman

Creating conversations that redefine allyship

A SAFE SPACE FOR THE QUEER PEOPLE. Tommy Dorfman has always been interested in cultivating a better world, especially for marginalised communities. This outlook is the motivation behind her new company, Curran, a platform building compassion, connection, and safe spaces for the queer community. "I want to be known as someone who left behind useful resources and helped the world. Curran is about creating products that don't necessarily fit the mold."

Tommy is perhaps more commonly known as an actor and writer, currently working on her directorial debut, I Wish You All the Best. Having grown up in a family of entrepreneurs, she often draws parallels between her careers in entertainment and business. "I've always been a curious person and a problem-solver. As a filmmaker, I'm trying to tell stories that have never been made before. As a founder, it's creating products that have never been made before to service communities that have often been disinvested."

Curran began as a trans-inclusive lingerie line, a gap in the market Tommy spotted when she started transitioning. It's since grown into a larger, all-encompassing platform inclusive of other queer brands in the marketplace. "I've been sober for nine years now, and I've always thought about what it would mean to cultivate safe spaces for queer people outside of bars, especially during the pandemic and so much of our lives now being virtual."

Tommy's experience of auditioning and show-pitching means she's developed a thick skin when handling rejection. That mindset has helped her raise capital for Curran, realizing she has little fear of being told 'no.' "I wholeheartedly think that whatever you're trying to do, you have to be delusional and believe in yourself and not take things personally. I've learned that it's much better to go through the cracked doors people are willing to open than try to break one down. Just remember, there's always another route."

Having already established a successful career, Tommy finds herself in a particularly unique position as a trans founder, keen to uplift and support other trans people. "It's always interesting to be a trans person in these rooms where I'm pitching. What can be frustrating about that is I have to educate while I pitch and find a way to do it in the pithiest way possible that doesn't exhaust me. It takes a lot of stamina to sit in a room and do that over and over again."

TRUSTING THE PROCESS. Curran's breadth and potential scope reflect Tommy's character, an "insatiable person who will always get as much out of the sponge as I can." While building the company, she's remaining as open, curious, and explorative to new ideas as she can. "I've found that I can be more successful and productive if I loosen up the reins, remain malleable, and stay in the moment. I think meeting life on life's terms is important to being successful and happy."

Tommy plans to launch Curran in mid-2023, and true to her nature, the vision is breathlessly ambitious. "I want Curran to be global. I don't want to be Amazon, but I want to figure out a balance for how to be successful while creating a global community that is doing good in the world. I see Curran's potential as limitless; as long as we maintain the same principles, we can go into any product space. We're innovative, and we're challenging the status quo.

"More than anything, my goal is to bring people in and change people's perspectives on trans and queer culture. The goal isn't equality; it's respect and autonomy."

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Presented with Pride Here is the first collection of one hundred incredible and inspiring LGBTQIA+ venture-backed entrepreneurs featured in this year's Gaingels 100.