Yeah, this argument makes no sense. Stonewall not only got its start being confrontational, but was the catalyst for the current LGBT rights movement. The current result of that movement is that Pride is now huge—to the point that it’s advantageous for for-profit companies to make a big deal of caring about it at least one month of the year. Being confrontational works.
Furthermore, what they are pushing in calling it hate speech is that transphobia be treated the same as other things that are accepted as bigotry. That’s a strategy that has historically worked. A lot of the reason that the LGBT rights movement seems to have accelerated faster is that it was able to use what was learned about racism and sexism. We treated homophobia as similar to those two.
Even comparing transphobia with specifically antisemitism makes sense due to the similarities in the claims. Antisemitic conspiracies claim that Jewish people are infiltrating spaces for their own benefit and the harm of non-Jewish people. They were somehow controlling the media, preventing those who had legitimate concerns from talking about them.
And, if you actually interact with Jewish people without preconceptions, you realize there’s nothing scary about them. Thus the implication of the comparison is that this is also true about trans folk.
You have your controversy to get in the news and get your opposition to publicize for you. You have the assertion that transphobia is a form of bigotry and should be treated like all other forms of bigotry. And you have the comparison to certain antisemitic arguments—arguments that people know are false.
That seems a pretty decent strategy to me. Not the only one, mind you—you do also have to have the people forming relationships and being nice. But I can’t think of any minority rights fight that used only the latter strategy. You always the tough guys and the nice guys.