As they drove west across the city towards the next possible ‘St Joseph’s’, Cody asked, “What did you mean, ‘no straight guy would do that’, Lou?”
“W-e-l-l …. I don’t mean exactly that straight guys can’t be perverts and monsters. But … we have to hide what we are. We can’t walk hand-in-hand down the street ….”
“… we kissed in the chemist …”
“…But did you see how the assistant carefully avoided looking at us? And that was Smith Street, hardly Christian Fundi Central. Anyway, even if it’s changed now, for the previous generation it was always a problem. And the killer sounds to me like he was, he went to, a Catholic or one of those happy-clappy fundi schools. And they teach you to hate yourself if you’re a homo. I should know. But the thing is, if you hate yourself, it perverts you. Everybody’s different. With me …..”
Cody waited. At last, he said, as neutrally as possible, “Yeah?”
“It’s not ‘nothing’.”
Luigi didn’t want to say, because he was with an example of how he chose poorly: Cody. He had been going to say that he chose straight-acting men who would always treat him badly. Many of them had beaten him up. How big a step was it from enjoying in a perverted way the punishments inflicted on him to turning that outwards onto others? From turning your self-hatred outwards onto others? From trying the kill the thing you hated about yourself by killing others?
Instead of saying what he’d been thinking, Luigi said, “I think I still despise myself. No matter how many times I tell myself that I’m worthwhile and the Church and the bigots have it wrong, I still, somewhere deep down believe them.”