While researching trans websites to see what resources exist for partners of trans people, I discovered some sites tend to use trans and others use trans* but I wasn’t sure what was the difference. The article LINKED HERE does a nice job of explaining why you might choose one versus the other. I use trans on my site when referring to my partner because she identifies as a trans woman and this term applies to her. If I’m speaking of the whole community, trans* is more appropriate as it applies to a broader collection of people.
One quote from the article I found particularly helpful: “Trans* is an umbrella term that refers to all of the identities within the gender identity spectrum. There’s a ton of diversity there, but we often group them all together (e.g., when we say “trans* issues). Trans (without the asterisk) is best applied to trans men and trans women, while the asterisk makes special note in an effort to include all non-cisgender gender identities, including transgender, transsexual, transvestite, genderqueer, genderfluid, non-binary, genderfuck, genderless, agender, non-gendered, third gender, two-spirit, bigender, and trans man and trans woman.”