A few people have asked why I write “trans*” (with the asterisk) instead of just “trans” when referring to trans* folks on my site. Well, I’m happy to answer that!
The origin behind the asterisk, as I understand it, is a bit computer geeky. When you add an asterisk to the end of a search term, you’re telling your computer to search for whatever you typed, plus any characters after (e.g., [search term*][extra letters], or trans*[-gender, -queer, -sexual, etc.]). The idea was to include trans and other identities related to trans, in the most technically awesome way. I <3 Geekdom.
There are certainly downsides and upsides to the asterisk (similar to the @ in [email protected]/[email protected], like “How do you pronounce it?“, and it’s not for everyone, but you can investigate and weigh the pros and cons and decide for yourself.
I created the graphic above to help raise awareness of this so folks can be more inclusive in their writing when referring to trans* people. Share the original post on Facebook if you pledge to write “trans*” from now on.