Since 2020, Lt. Governor Randy McNally’s verified account has regularly commented on the page of a user who goes by the moniker Franklyn Superstar on Instagram.
In one video showing Franklyn walking down a ramp in his underwear, McNally wrote: ‘I love it’ accompanied by heart emojis.
On another occasion, McNally commented under a photo: ‘You seem super happy. You are like sunshine.’ While in one showing Franklyn in his underwear, McNally wrote: ‘Franklyn, you can turn a rainy day into rainbows and sunshine.’
Speaking exclusively to DailyMail.com, Franklyn, who identifies as gay, said he had no idea who McNally was when he began commenting on his social media. ‘I don’t keep up with politics like that,’ he said.
In one video showing Franklyn walking down a ramp in his underwear, McNally wrote: ‘I love it’ accompanied by heart emojis
Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally is also the speaker of Tennessee’s state Senate and has represented his district in the chamber since 1978
McNally’s communications director Adam Kleinheider told Fox Nashville that the framing of the story was the work of a ‘left-wing operative’ making the Lt. Governor’s messages appear ‘sinister or inappropriate.’
‘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,’ Kleinheider’s statement continued.
‘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.’
In his role as lieutenant governor, McNally is the speaker of the state Senate.
According to the podcast, The Tennessee Holler, they are the left wing operatives referenced in the lieutenant governor’s office’s statement.
Franklyn told DailyMail.com that he did exchange private messages with McNally but said that he was not willing to reveal the content. He also said that the pair never met face to face.
In at least one message, McNally refers to Franklyn by his nickname, Finn.
Franklyn responded to McNally on several messages. Under one where the lieutenant governor posted three love hearts and three fire emojis, Franklyn replied: ‘You are literally always so nice. King.’
In at least one social media post, McNally refers to Franklyn by his nickname Finn
In February, McNally commented under this picture on Facebook. ‘Love this picture but Finn you look said. I hope everything is ok. If not talk to me’
In February, McNally commented under one of Franklyn’s pictures on Facebook. ‘Love this picture but Finn you look said. I hope everything is ok. If not talk to me.’
Franklyn is a native of Knoxville, Tennessee, an area of the state that McNally represents as a state senator for the fifth district, but now lives in South Carolina.
He tells DailyMail.com that he’s pursuing music and said that he wants to be the ‘male Doja Cat.’
In 2023, Tennessee has been at the forefront of states seeking to advance legislation that targets the LGBTQ community.
Last week, lawmakers in the state put forward a law that prevents transgender people from changing their driver’s licenses and birth certificates, a move that officials warn could cost the state millions in federal funding.
This week, Governor Bill Lee signed off on a bill preventing drag queens from performing in any space that isn’t defined as an ‘adult cabaret’ such as a strip club.
Franklyn told DailyMail.com that he is an aspiring singer who plans to become the ‘male Doja Cat’
Across the country, conservative activists and politicians complain that drag contributes to the ‘sexualization’ or ‘grooming’ of children. Several states are considering restrictions.
Despite the state’s heavy-handed approach to LGBTQ issues, McNally has been lukewarm on several issues including pushing for a ban on transgender athletes competing in college sports, the Tennessean reported in 2021.
In 2019, the same newspaper reported that McNally warned Republicans in his state that anti-LGBTQ legislation could effect businesses wanting invest in Tennessee.
According to his official profile, McNally, a retired pharmacist, has a wife, Janice, two adult daughters and three grandchildren.
In his role as speaker of the Senate, despite the opposition of his party, McNally acknowledged President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 election shortly after January 6th Capitol riot.