[RPG] How to deal with a PC being played as homophobic


I’m about to start a sci-fi campaign using Ultramodern5 (a modification of D&D 5e for non-fantasy settings). I’ve been working with players to help build their characters, and one player character has me a bit worried. The player wants his character to be homophobic.

Now I’ve known this player for a long time and I know he isn’t the type to throw out offensive slurs, but even then, as a bisexual this makes me uncomfortable. I know this would also probably make others at the table uncomfortable. Now I do admit I may have set the precedent for this as I have used NPCs with racist beliefs to flesh out the world before, but I’ve always made sure to never push it super hard, and I’ve definitely never had something like this come from a PC.

What do I do?

Best Answer

Explain it to them just as you explained it to us:
"It makes me uncomfortable and I believe it will make the other players uncomfortable." is a perfectly valid reason to veto a character.

It also may be worth telling them to prepare another character "just in case" and bring up their character concept in session zero, the other players may be OK with it, exploring things in a game that would not be acceptable in the real world can often be fun depending on how the player handles it. You can say "If the other players are OK with it I will allow it for not but if you push it too far and it makes anyone (including you) uncomfortable then the character leaves and you bring in your spare, no questions asked".

Other players may be fine with it, this may be affected by how "real" they play the bigotry and how real the setting is, a Caricature can be fun. I myself had a lot of fun playing a racist (clade-ist?) lizardfolk who just did not like mammals "You all have things hanging off you", (genitalia, breasts, hair) "and you're always leaking fluids, it's just weird.". He still saved the world with a group of mammals and the other players had fun with it as well, especially because he was fine killing (and eating) mammalian humanoids but went to extraordinary lengths to not harm intelligent reptilian enemies. The fact he was a bit monstrous (seriously he ate like a dozen people throughout the campaign) made it more fun and unreal enough to not be uncomfortable. But I also talked it over with all the other players at session zero to make sure they were fine with it beforehand; these were players who knew me and knew I was just playing a monster.