The scene: a pre-Christmas dinner date, in a pleasant, local restaurant. The dramatis personae: Adam Fannin, pastor at the Stedfast Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida; his wife; and the waiting staff at said restaurant. In later remarks to his congregation, he bewails his evening, ruined on account of having to be served by waiters whom he presumes to be gay.
Here comes this flaming foo-foo fruit loop. I’m here to have date night, enjoy some time with my wife, and I can’t because of the lisps.
Giving advice on how to extricate oneself from such an unappetising state of affairs, he continues, theatrically:
If you don’t just get up and leave, my recommendation is just don’t order anything – just wait. You sit there patiently and you look around, and you will find a lady that looks like a mom, that looks like a very diligent worker. You will find somebody that you notice that’s busy, that’s doing stuff. You walk up to them and […] just say ‘Have we had you before? Can we get you over here?’ I guarantee you it always works, and then you can enjoy your dinner. And hey, you better tip her well. Let that foo-foo know what he missed out on, okay?¹
Okay, sugar-lips. We wouldn’t want your surf ‘n’ turf to catch the gay.
Ignoring lazy and defamatory homophobic stereotyping, the odds that restaurant managers don’t often take kindly to their patrons being unabashed bigots, and the unspoken subtext that Fannin fancies himself a sort of gay magnet, this anecdote is a goldmine for armchair psychoanalysis. And so, without further ado…
***Armchair Psychology 101***
There are four characters in this sermon of the renowned hate-preacher’s:
1) Himself (helplessly beating off the gays with a stick, which in retrospect is probably a poor choice of words)
2) The evil, irrestible, “flaming foo-foo fruit loop” waiter (repressed self)
3) His wife (“beard“; current and proximal protection from repressed self)
4) Waitress/mother-figure (past and distal protection from repressed self)
On the most basic level, this diatribe can probably be read as a straight-forward attempt to distract himself from his closeted nature, by appealing to strong female figures around him. The 1996 peer-reviewed study² by Adams et al., entitled Is homophobia associated with homosexual arousal?, and published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, has introduced a reasonable portion of literate netizens to the concept of reaction formation.³ As a defence mechanism, the process of reaction formation has a fairly wide application. In the popular and web-savvy mind, however, this application is generally boiled down to the idea that, if you’re homophobic, you’re a latent homosexual. Not definitely, of course; one can never be 100% definite, but yes, you’re definitely a self-loathing gay.
These are the ones, unfortunately, the civic and religious leaders, who legislate and preach against LGBT rights, and who generally end up getting caught in moronically compromising situations with male “colleagues”—or in tragic ones (recalling the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting). He’d be doing less harm all round, had he not been raised to believe that he’s inherently damaged, and therefore to be disgusted with himself, and to project that self-disgust at others.