Tennessee Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally has a strange habit for a powerful Republican in a state where the party has not been kind to the LGBTQ community. He simply cannot stop liking and commenting on a 20-year-old gay male model’s Instagram posts.
The Tennessee Holler reported on Wednesday that McNally has repeatedly interacted with the Instagram page of Franklyn McClur, who grew up in Knoxville and routinely posts provocative images of himself, often nude. “Finn, you can turn a rainy day into rainbows and sunshine!” McNally commented on a close-up shot of McClur’s backside in formfitting underwear.
McNally is not hiding from the story. His office released a statement emphasizing that the lieutenant governor loves social media and takes “great pains to view every post he can” and that “he has no intention of stopping.” McNally even sat down for an interview with Nashville’s NewsChannel5 on Thursday.
“I try to encourage people with posts and try to, you know, help them if I can,” McNally explained. “I was basically trying to encourage him.”
McNally was then asked about McClur characterizing himself as “not a WHORE” but “a HOE” because “one is a SLUT and the other is a PROSTITUTE” and that he’s “the one who gets free weed for giving [a reference to a sexual act].”
“A lot of times on peoples’ posts you see the name and you see what they’ve written and you press the button that says like,” McNally explained.
“So you didn’t read that post?”
“I don’t recall reading the part about the weed, I know that.”
“But what about the prostitute?”
“I might have read that.”
McNally acknowledged that it was “probably not” appropriate to like that particular post.
The lieutenant governor’s infatuation with McClur isn’t new. He started messaging him back in 2020, when McClur was only 17. McNally insisted in the interview on Thursday that he’s never met McClur in person, although he has met some LGBTQ people who have helped his change his mind about the community. “Initially I was not very kind to that community,” he said. “As I learned some things and met some people in that community I realized they’re still individuals and still have value.”
McClur doesn’t seem too concerned about the uproar around his social media behavior and seems pretty resigned to whatever the state’s Senate — which has the power to remove the lieutenant governor from office — wants to do about the situation. He did apologize, though. “I’m really, really sorry if I’ve embarrassed my family, embarrassed my friends, embarrassed any of the members of the legislature with the posts,” he said. “It was not my intent to, and not my intent to hurt them.”