A recent New York Times article made the case that after the religious right lost their crusade against marriage equality, they began sowing the seeds against the trans community; seeds that we are seeing bloom statewide bills becoming laws against gender-affirming healthcare for trans kids and eventually adults.
The article wasn't a shock to many of us in the LGBTQ community who track religious right attacks on LGBTQ people. Many of us predicted this would happen years ago. Even in the early days when the lies were mostly about trans female athletes and men in women's bathrooms and locker rooms, many trans activists, journalists, and leaders in particular were sounding the alarm that this was just the beginning.
The article also, as far as I am concerned, failed to make the point that the attacks on trans people isn't a new phenomena. In fact it resembles how the religious right tried to torpedo marriage equality. They seized upon the issue of marriage equality while it was burgeoning and flooded the public debate with horror stories about how gays being able to marry would lead to bestiality, confusion, and - the old standard they like to use - the supposed corruption of children, such as the image below from the National Organization for Marriage:
The point was to gain an advantage before people were properly educated about marriage equality. They were successful at the beginning with a mass of referendums banning it in the states. The religious right's goal was to galvanize conservatives by jamming the issue into the public arena on their terms with their narratives, but it eventually backfired against them. As time went on and people listened to the stories of gay couples wanting to marry and take care of their children, public opinion shifted.
They are now utilizing the same tactic against the trans community. It doesn't take a rocket scientist or a Ph.D. to see what the religious right did to gain an advantage. They merely shifted the scapegoat. Whereas gay marriage and pretty much gays in general were the targets of their vitriol in the past, they have shifted ever so slightly to putting an ugly bullseye on the back of trans people. Look at the example is below. Remember when "transgender ideology" was "homosexual agenda?"
Also, they have dominated the conversation with horror stories, anecdotes, and even so-called science (cherry-picked and distorted studies) against the trans community and gender-affirming care. It's very important to remember that all of these things are recycled garbage they used, and still use to an extent, to target gays. The similarities are there, as witnessed by the images below.
Scapegoating groups of people should never been seen as politically savvy. It's plain terrorism and should be called out as such.