I just mean that personally if someone was openly homophobic to me at least I would know where I stand with them. But to be told my sexuality is tolerated by someone would leave me wondering what they really think.
But do people actually use the word 'tolerate' to you, that does sound a bit 'through gritted teeth'. Tolerance on the other hand, has a much more positive slant to it (I feel), such as people pray for world tolerance, meaning praying for acceptance, etc. I am not gay (straight female) so am never on the receiving end of this kind of thing but I am definitely of the 'acceptance' camp and can't really understand why some people have huge problems with it, but then I have been a bit in love with Will Young since 2002.