UPDATE TO THIS STORY: Lt. Governor Randy Mcnally has issued a statement blaming us for calling out his hypocrisy – but, importantly, not denying he’s the one who made these comments, not claiming he was hacked, and not blaming an underling. You can watch our interview with Franklyn, the man in the pics, here. Or listen to the PODCAST.
Tennessee is currently leading the nation in anti-LGBTQ hate, with 26 anti-lgbtq bills moving through the legislature. Last week Governor Lee made national news for quickly signing a cruel trans youth health care ban, and the nation’s first drag show felony bill, which threatens to lock up drag performers.
What made the bill even more absurd was the revelation that Governor Lee himself had dressed in drag, on a school campus, in front of minors, back in 1977.
Drag for me, felony for thee.
Lee’s hypocrisy made him a laughingstock, even getting him sent up on Saturday Night Live.
Well hang onto your hats, folks, because it turns out Lee isn’t the only huge hypocrite at the highest levels of Tennessee’s government.
Enter Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, who it turns out has been openly leaving heart emojis and other encouraging comments under very racy pics on the instagram page of a young gay male aspiring performer named Franklyn McClur, who grew up in Knoxville – McNally is from Oak Ridge, but represents parts of Knoxville, where he lives with his wife Janice. They have 2 adult daughters. Mcnally is Roman Catholic.
We were alerted to the pics by an anonymous twitter user who came across them – someone who knew of Franklyn and was entertained by his page. They sent us screen shots and told us where to find them. We were in disbelief.
Sure enough, there they were – and still are, at this writing: Visit Franklyn’s page here under the moniker “@FranklynSuperstar”
McNally repeatedly used his VERIFIED account to post underneath some of Franklyn’s raciest pictures. McNally is apparently very big on heart and flame emojis.
Underneath a few Franklyn and McNally exchange comments, seeming to know one another. McNally even calls Franklyn by “Finn”, his nickname, which is not mentioned anywhere on his page, and speaks to a definite familiarity between them. (Franklyn says they have never met in person)
Knowing McNally would surely claim to be hacked when we posted about this, we decided to call up Franklyn to hear the details from him directly.
Franklyn is currently 20 years old. He grew up in Knoxville (which McNally represents parts of), but no longer lives there. He says he and McNally became friends on Facebook through mutual friends a few years back, and that McNally got Franklyn’s Instagram from there and has been commenting for a while now.
About his pictures, which are revealing, Franklyn says “My body is art, I like to use it the way god intended.”
Franklyn told us he always found it a bit random that the Lieutenant Governor of Tennessee was commenting on his page, but since he’s not a political person he didn’t make the connection that McNally was simultaneously helping to spearhead a deeply anti-LGBTQ legislature which is pushing the most anti-LGBTQ bills in the country.
About the way McNally posted on his page, Franklyn told us he has never taken what appears to be flirting seriously. “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.”
But when we told him about the drag show felony bill, and the anti-trans youth health care bill, and so many of the other bills snaking their way through the Republican supermajority-led legislature, Franklyn agreed that was wrong, saying “It’s wrong to ban drag, wrong to ban anything that isn’t hurting anyone. I don’t support hate of any kind.”
We asked Franklyn if at any point he thought McNally may have been hacked. And he said the thought crossed his mind, but that since they had become friends back in 2020 he (understandably) assumes McNally’s team would know by now if that was the case: “They would be aware by now if he was hacked. It’s evident he’s not hacked.”
It’s worth noting the comments McNally made on Franklyn’s page stretch back months ago. Add that to the fact that Franklyn says he has been messaging with McNally for years, and let’s just say if this is the work of hackers, they’re the most patient hackers ever.
The main point Franklyn wanted to get across was that he has no animosity towards Randy McNally. “I don’t hate him. I don’t dislike him. I don’t have a negative opinion on him. I’ve had a transformation since we started talking — I was more christian, now I’m more not christian. We were friends back before I was more openly myself. Before I was posting things more mature… If he’s hitting on me it’s real out of touch hitting on me.”
Franklyn’s appreciation for McNally is clearly genuine. But while McNally may be supportive of Franklyn, when it comes to the LGBTQ community in Tennessee, he is anything but.
As with the governor’s drag past, the hypocrisy on display here is, yet again, jaw-dropping.
We don’t judge Randy for liking Franklyn’s pictures. In fact, we’re glad he does. We just wish McNally and Tennessee Republicans would stop the hate and treat everyone in Tennessee’s LGBTQ community in the supportive way Lt. Gov. McNally treats Franklyn on Instagram.
Instead, Tennessee Republicans have made hate their #1 priority this session to distract from all the different ways this TN GOP supermajority is failing our state, with outcomes at the bottom in poverty, violent crime, health, per pupil spending, and so much more.
The hate is simply a distraction they use to cling to power, and they don’t care what it does to our most vulnerable communities. What a better state we would have if we all accepted each other for who we are and supported one another.
Speaking of support, Franklyn adds that he would appreciate any support y’all are willing to give him on TIK TOK or better yet VENMO @Franklyn-McClur, as he’s currently working on making his way out to Los Angeles to become, in his words, “the next Doja Cat” (he also wanted to send a shout-out to Justin Bieber, and to let record labels know they should all feel free to contact him!)
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