One of Tennessee’s top GOP lawmakers has supported some of the red state’s most anti-LGBTQ bills—all while positively engaging with gay and trans content creators on Instagram.On Wednesday, the Tennessee Holler broke news that Tennessee Lt. Gov. Randy McNally has used his verified Instagram account to comment on a young gay Tennessee man’s thirst traps. McNally responded to several posts from performer Franklyn McClur with heart, fire, and clap emojis, and left comments like “Super Look Finn” and “You need to be on dancing with the stars.” On one image of McClur’s butt, McNally’s account wrote, “Finn, you can turn a rainy day into rainbows and sunshine!”
This comes on heels of the resurfacing of Tennessee Gov Bill Lee's picture in drag as a minor during the time in which he was signing bill categorizing drag as adult entertainment, thus banning it from being shown to minors and in public areas. Lee also signed a bill outlawing gender-affirming care for trans kids.
When it comes to McNally though, there is a new angle in the story. Apparently he also follows - and "likes" - the post of a transgender woman:
Again: As the @TNGOP attempts to legislate trans people out of existence, a collage of @ltgovmcnally *liking* posts by a trans woman, commenting on how beautiful she is, etc… it wasn’t just Franklyn. #RandyRandy #SlateOfHate 🏳️🌈 🏳️⚧️ pic.twitter.com/Y9BYgjVTnJ— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) March 9, 2023
McNally's office was defiant when asked about him like the gay man's pictures:
. . . McNally’s team spoke of the lieutenant governor’s love of social media. “As anyone in Tennessee politics knows, Lt. Governor McNally is a prolific social media commenter,” McNally spokesperson Adam Kleinheider told VICE News in a statement. “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.”“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,” Kleinheider added about the 79-year-old politician.
I wonder what his office will say about the new revelation regarding the transgender woman. As juicy as this story is, let's not forget what it's actually about. It's not about what Gov Lee looked like in drag or what Lt Gov McNally's sexual orientation may or may not be.
It is all about the hypocrisy of Lee and McNally. They create laws designating LGBTQ people and culture as something to be afraid of. But their actions tell an opposite story.