I don’t think it’s inherently (or even usually) homophobic to kill off an LGBT+ character, but, like, at the same time, it does get old.
I can forgive shows like The Walking Dead, because everyone is fair game in TWD. Even main characters are becoming more and more likely to bite the dust (a la my beloved Glenn), and I think the show may move more toward that angle in the future.
(Although, at the same time, they do have to worry about ratings/viewer satisfaction. They really cannot create their show in a vacuum, as harsh and gritty as they’d probably like, because it is very much a product they need to make money off of–so, idk, some characters may retain their plot armor. The point is, dozens of characters have died in the show’s history, so losing one or two LGBT+ characters in a world where people are constantly dying isn’t such a big deal in my eyes.)
But then you’ve got pieces of media that aren’t the clusterfuck of death TWD is killing off LGBT+ characters, for no real reason other than angst, and it’s…it’s just obnoxious, man. I’m tired of feeling like I have to worry about my representation being killed off just ‘cause the writers wanted to, especially when they aren’t treating their cishet characters in the same manner.
I don’t think they mean to be homophobic, but they’ve ingested way too many angsty LGBT+ dramas written by other cishet people, so now they think that LGBT+ characters are just supposed to die in every piece of fiction we’re in. It’s one of the ugliest character tropes out there, and, yeah, I am tired of it.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve killed off my LGBT+ characters before. Hell, one of the saddest moments in my canon is the death of a gay man with a fiance and son, mere months before he and his fiance were meant to be married, after only just reuniting with one of his parents after ten years of being apart due to unfortunate circumstances. It’s awful, it’s really fucking bleak.
But, also, most of my characters are LGBT+, and he dies in the middle of a crazy fucking war between the Catholic Church and demonkind–so his death is understandable, it’s not just out of nowhere, with no explanation, or with the only explanation being, “I felt like it.” It’s a major turning point for his parents as individuals, and it shapes his son’s future in a meaningful way.
But so many people use LGBT+ characters as just. Fodder. A way to get a cheap angsty moment. Because it’s somehow more acceptable to kill off their minority characters than their majority characters–not because they’re homophobic, but because that’s just what they’ve been taught by other cishet content creators, who have perpetuated the idea that LGBT+ characters are destined to suffer.
It’s not some grand conspiracy of homophobia or anything. It’s just the usual stupid shit that goes down in the content creating business. But just because it’s not homophobic doesn’t mean it’s not annoying, overdone, and stemming from a place of ignorance.
(Note: that isn’t to say all LGBT+ deaths are handled poorly. Just a lot of them.)