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GOP Lt. Gov. left heart emojis all over a gay man’s racy Instagram

Tennessee Lt. Gov. Randy McNally
Tennessee Lt. Gov. Randy McNally Photo: Tennessee General Assembly

A Tennessee Republican’s verified Instagram account repeatedly commented on racy photos posted by a young gay musician.

Over several months, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally – who has supported several anti-LGBTQ+ bills – posted heart and flame emojis as well as compliments in the comments of the 20-year-old man’s very revealing photos. The young man, who identifies himself on Instagram as Franklyn, routinely posts photos of himself in little more than underwear.

“Finn, you can turn a rainy day into rainbows and sunshine!” McNally’s account commented on an image of Franklyn’s backside in January, apparently using a nickname.


Last November, McNally appears to have commented on a photo in which Franklyn appears nude. “Great picture, Finn! Best wishes for continued health and happiness,” he wrote.

TN Holler reports that an anonymous Twitter user alerted the site to the comments. Franklyn, who grew up in Knoxville, TN, told the site that he and McNally have been friends on Facebook for years, and from there McNally found his Instagram account. He says the Lt. Governor has also messaged him directly on social media, though they have never met in person.

“My body is art, I like to use it the way god intended,” Franklyn said of his photos.

“I just thought he was older and out of touch. I’ve always taken it as a compliment,” he said of McNally’s comments. “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.”

“I’m not a stranger to compliments, so I don’t really read into them because I just think that’s wrong to assume somebody’s hitting on you just because they’re nice to you,” Franklyn told ABC affiliate WKRN. “He did not say he wanted to date me or have sex or anything like that.”

WKRN also reports that McNally’s account “liked” a photo of a transgender woman.

McNally’s office has not denied that he liked and commented on any of the photos.

“Trying to imply something sinister or inappropriate about a great-grandfather’s use of social media says more about the mind of the left-wing operative making the implications than it does about Randy McNally,” they said in a statement.

“As anyone in Tennessee politics knows, Lt. Governor McNally is a prolific social media commenter. 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. But he enjoys interacting with constituents and Tennesseans of all religions, backgrounds and orientations on social media. He has no intention of stopping.”

Under the leadership of Gov. Bill Lee (R), Tennessee recently passed legislation intended to ban drag performances in public spaces and to ban gender-affirming healthcare for transgender youth. Numerous other anti-LGBTQ+ bills are currently moving through the state legislature.

Lee himself has been criticized recently for his support of the anti-drag law after a photo from his 1977 high school yearbook surfaced appearing to show the Governor in drag.

When asked about McNally’s support for Tennessee’s anti-LGBGQ+ laws, Franklyn told WKRN, “I just hope that he knows I love him and LGBTQ+ loves him and would love him even more if he would open his heart and treat everyone else the way he wants to be treated because the way I want to be treated is to be accepted and be able to be myself and not be taken to police.”

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