A/N: "Mob Rules" spoilers. Told from the lawyer brother's 2nd person P.O.V. I found it interesting that no one was talking about how you can get Hepatitis C from UNSANITARY TATTOOS, like the kind you get IN PRISON. .
Still, this nagged at me until I wrote it, so I figured, "What the hell? You're on the only computer in the house that FFN doesn't actively despise. Post already!"
It isn't about street cred. Not really. But how do you explain to a bunch of toe-the-line docs who hold your brother's life in their hands that you don't want him to be gay because you don't want to lose him?
Joey was the big brother, the guy who told you about women and work and Real Life and how the Family worked. He told you that men were supposed to be men, supposed to be tough, supposed to take care of women. And you've tried to do that, to be that kind of guy because Joey is your brother, your brother, and your brother is never wrong. And if he was even the littlest bit wrong about what he was supposed to do with women, then what does that make you? Joey can't be wrong.
That's not even the whole story. It's not just that it shakes your faith in his decisions, in his judgment, in his fraternal relationship with you. It's the media stereotypes at work. How can Joey be gay? He doesn't act like that guy Jack on Will & Grace, he doesn't act like one of those homo decorators. He's so goddamn normal, and that's shaking your faith in the society – after all, no one ever told you it wasn't just pansies that were gay.
And speaking of being goddamn normal, but mainly speaking of God, the last thought on your mind, on your devout Catholic brain, was that your brother might be going to hell for sodomizing, having impure thoughts about the same gender, whatever. Okay, so maybe a mob kid isn't the best example of a devout Catholic, but Thou Shalt Not Kill is…even you don't really have an excuse for that one. And if it's really genetic, if it's really intrinsic, if Joey really can't help who he is, then what does that tell you about the Church? Your brother, society, God, everyone can't be wrong.
And if the gimp is right, that he's going into the WPP to get away from this life, from its dangers, from you, then you'll never see your big brother again, and you'll never watch basketball and drink beer with him again, and that's just unacceptable. He's a permanent fixture in your life, you've kinda gotten used to havin' him around. Leaving is what your whore Aunt Sally does, not what Joey's supposed to do.
But now it's time to face the real problem. Street cred means respect (that's what you equate it to, anyway) and if it gets out Joey's gay, that's all gone – not just for him, but some of yours, too. If people don't respect him, don't respect you, then they don't fear you, and when people don't fear the Family, they think they can fight back, they think they can win back some of their cred by screwing with Joey. And what's the best way to screw with people you don't like, people you want to mess up personally, on a deep, intimate level?
Rape. If they don't respect Joey, if they don't fear that his family will come down like avenging angels and smite them all, if they don't maintain a healthy distance (healthy for whom, you're not certain), then someone will rape your brother eventually. It might be the day after the trial fiasco dies down, it might be two months or ten years from then. The point is, someone will hurt your brother (and even if they don't rape him, they might gay-bash him mercilessly) and that is Un-Accept-Able.
It's not that you're embarrassed about his choice; or that you're truly worried for his reputation, or even that it rocks your world at the seams. Fundamentally, the main problem with this picture is the consequences of his reputation's decline, the inevitable pain (be it emotional or the more likely physical) your brother will suffer. That is why you don't want him to be a fag.