NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A young man’s nearly naked pictures on Instagram have turned into a controversy for Tennessee’s lieutenant governor.
Randy McNally’s Instagram history started circulating on social media Wednesday after a report from the Tennessee Holler. His critics say it shows he’s a hypocrite as the legislature passes anti-LGBTQ legislation.
Now, his office is responding.
The pictures were posted on an Instagram account by a man identifying himself as “Franklyn.” One of the pictures shows some of the man’s backside.
The lieutenant governor’s verified Instagram account commented with heart emojis and fire emojis. His account also said, “you can turn a rainy day into rainbows and sunshine!”
The lieutenant governor’s account also commented on a picture in which it appears the man is not wearing underwear.
McNally’s account said, quote “great picture! Best wishes for continued health and happiness.”
There are more pictures and comments, spanning months.
News 2 spoke with Franklyn Wednesday night.
He says McNally added him on Facebook in 2020, and then McNally followed his Instagram. He says McNally also sent compliments by direct messages, but they never met in person.
“To me, 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 News 2. “He did not say he wanted to date me or have sex or anything like that.”
News 2 also found the lieutenant governor’s account liking a picture of a woman who says she’s transgender. The picture is captioned “#transgender.”
The human rights coalition recently claimed Tennessee “passed more anti-LGBTQ+ legislation than any other state.” So, the lieutenant governor’s critics call him a hypocrite.
Franklyn criticized the recent bills that have passed.
“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,” Franklyn said.
News 2 asked the lieutenant governor’s office for comment. They did not deny the authenticity of the posts.
“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.”
McNally was first elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 1978. He has served as the state senator from the 5th district, which encompasses Anderson, Loudon, and part of Knox County, since 1987. In 2017, he was elected Senate Speaker and Lieutenant Governor. His current term ends on 2026.