When a transgender individual comes into Atticus Ranck’s office, he doesn’t need to guess at what they’re dealing with. As someone who has transitioned, he knows exactly what they’re dealing with. It’s just a matter of learning the specifics.

“I was born female and have since emerged as male. It makes me more empathetic for my clients. I understand their struggles because I’ve been there,” said Ranck, director of transgender services for SunServe.

“I think you constantly have to defend yourself about who you are. There’s no place in the world for trans people. The world is made for two genders: men and women. Even your body is against you.”

Transgender individuals, he said, face discrimination in healthcare, the workplace and familial rejection. It’s a combination that can lead to depression, drug and alcohol abuse and, finally, suicide.

In recovery himself, Ranck came out as a lesbian at 17 before his transition. “And then the feelings happened when I was in graduate school.” He started on hormones at age 23.

Those who come to Ranck receive help with record changes, accessing hormones, homeless assistance, job issues and more. “Anything I can do to help them.”