Randy McNally speaking in front of brick wall

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GOP lieutenant governor of anti-LGBTQ state can’t stop posting heart emojis on young man’s Instagram

Lt. Gov. Randy McNally ‘has no intention of stopping.’

 

Claire Goforth

Tech

The Republican lieutenant governor of a state that’s pursuing one of the most aggressive anti-LGBTQ agendas in the nation is a frequent, enthusiastic commenter on a young gay man’s racy Instagram posts. Tennessee Lt. Gov. Randy McNally (R) has been posting comments on the young man’s page for months.

It appears to be somewhat of a pattern for Tennessee’s anti-gay leadership. Just before Gov. Bill Lee (R) signed a bill banning drag shows last week, the Daily Dot reported that he dressed in drag in high school.

McNally, who serves as speaker of the state senate, is among the Tennessee lawmakers who have pushed for the state to pass multiple pieces of anti-LGBTQ legislation.

McNally, who is purportedly heterosexual, has been posting heart and flame emojis on Franklyn McClur’s photos for months. Twenty-year-old McClur (@FranklynSuperstar) told the Tennessee Holler, which broke the story, that the two became friends on Facebook in 2020 but haven’t met in person.

McNally subsequently began flooding McClur’s scantily clad selfies with positive affirmation. When McClur posted a photo in January in which he showed everything but his genitals, McNally reacted with a heart emoji. An up-close image of McClur’s buttocks in underwear posted that month prompted the lieutenant governor to comment with three heart and three flame emojis. “Super look Finn,” McNally wrote on another racy selfie in December. (Finn is McClur’s nickname.) Of a nude photo from November, McNally commented, “Great picture, Finn!” along with a heart emoji.

When Finn posted a video in which he danced in a short skirt and a crop top, McNally wrote, “You need to be on Dancing with the Stars.”

McNally did not deny making these comments from his verified account.

In a statement first provided to a local reporter, McNally’s office portrayed him as a bumbling “great-grandfather” who “is a prolific social media commenter” but doesn’t really know what those emojis imply.

“He takes great pains to view every post he can and frequently posts encouraging things to many of his followers. Does he always use the proper emoji at the proper time? Maybe not,” the statement said. “But he enjoys interacting with constituents and Tennesseans of all religions, backgrounds and orientations on social media.”

“He has no intention of stopping.”

McClur told the Tennessee Holler that he always thought it was random that the lieutenant governor commented on his posts, but said he found it flattering rather than flirtatious.

“I just thought he was older and out of touch. I’ve always taken it as a compliment. I don’t dislike him or think he’s a bad person, he’s one of the only people who has consistently uplifted me and made me feel good,” he said.

McNally apparently seems to dig McClur so much that he also follows a fan page dedicated to him.

News of McNally’s behavior sent shockwaves through the internet.

Many went to McClur’s Instagram account to share their thoughts about McNally’s comments. One said, “Check out this anti-drag Republican revealing how turned in he is.”

Others piled on McNally’s recent tweets.

“I see you’ve been Instagramming, Randy,” @ItIsMashAgain wrote. Several quoted McNally’s comments from McClur’s Instagram page, such as when he wrote, “Finn, you can turn a rainy day into rainbows and sunshine!”

McClur told the Daily Beast that he believes the lieutenant governor follows him because he “enjoys who I am.”

He also said, “I hope he can extend that kindness by trying to make sure no bills are passed to hurt anyone like me.”

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