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Tennessee's Anti-LGBTQ+ Lt. Governor Liked Young Gay Man’s Risqué Pics

Tennessee's Anti-LGBTQ+ Lt. Governor Liked Young Gay Man’s Risqué Pics

Tennessee Lt. Gov. Randy McNally and Franklin McClure

“You can turn a rainy day into rainbows and sunshine,” the Republican politician wrote.

Several days after the Republican governor of Tennessee signed a law criminalizing drag performances in public, a local publication discovered the lieutenant governor, who is equally anti-LGBTQ+, has been liking and commenting on one young gay man’s posts.

Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, 79, regularly comments with heart emojis and encouraging words on the Instagram page of a young gay aspiring performer named Franklin McClure, the news siteTN Holler reports.

He used his verified account repeatedly to post underneath some of McClure's most sexy pictures using heart and fire emojis.

In the photos, McClure often appears posing while scantly clad and sometimes wearing makeup.

McClure and McNally seem to know one another because they exchange comments underneath a few posts. McNally even refers to McClure as “Finn,” his nickname, which is not mentioned anywhere on his page, the outlet reports.

“Finn, you can turn a rainy day into rainbows and sunshine,” the lieutenant governor wrote in the comments of one post.

According to the Tennessee Holler, McClure denies meeting McNally in person.

Since the story broke, the comments on McClure's page have been deleted and disabled; however, the publication captured screenshots of McNally's reactions on McClure's page.

In anticipation that the lieutenant governor's office would try to claim that his account had been hacked or otherwise deflect from the relationship and messages, the Tennesee Holler reached out to McClure to get him on the record about their interactions.

A few years ago, McNally and the 20-year-old became friends on Facebook through mutual friends, and he has been commenting on McClure's Instagram since then, the young man said.

The lieutenant governor's office does not deny that he and McClure know each other and have interacted.

Considering that he supports criminalizing drag queens for performances, McNally's spokesperson blamed the publication for making an issue out of something innocuous.

Who cares if the politician who comments on Instagram a lot praised his constituent; but also, maybe he used the wrong emoji’s because he’s a "great-grandfather," the spokesperson submitted.

"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 implication than it does about Randy McNally. 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."

While McNally may be supportive of McClure, when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community in Tennessee, he is anything but.

According to revelations last week, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee himself dressed in drag before minors on a school campus in 1977. LGBTQ+ advocates note that this hypocrisy is, yet again, stunning, as with the governor's drag past.

The Twitterverse had some thoughts, as might be expected.

"Great grandfathers' liking pictures of twinks isn't sinister or inappropriate on the face of it. Maybe Randy turning around and voting like he thinks they're second class citizens is the sinister or inappropriate part," one person tweeted.

The Tennessee legislature is considering 26 anti-LGBTQ bills, making it the nation’s leading anti-LGBTQ state. Last week, Tennessee enacted the nation’s first drag show felony law, which threatens to lock up drag performers. The governor also signed a ban on gender-affirming care for youth. Both pieces of legislation are rooted in transphobia, advocates have pointed out.

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