In my own sheltered little world, I had forgotten for a while that both homophobes and people who are oddly fascinated with gay people exist. Though I realize that the latter probably have good intentions when they say “I love gay people,” they only make coming out of the closet even more difficult.
It might seem strange that positive feedback about one’s sexuality worsens matters, but what any queer person ideally wants is not to be treated differently by peers based on orientation. By isolating an individual based on any singular aspect, such as gender, sex or romantic/sexual preference, one reduces that individual to a stereotype or somehow a representation of an entire community rather than a person with unique characteristics, thoughts and beliefs. While having an intense love for homosexuals is arguably better than subjecting them to bullying and hate crimes, it still is not desirable.
What many people still need to realize is that no one person is an accurate reflection of an entire group. “I love gay people” overgeneralizes a population and diminishes the worth of each individual in the speaker’s mind, implying affection not for the acquaintance, family member or friend, but rather for their sexuality. While support for the LGBT community is wonderful, this is not a correct way to express it and should not be treated as such.