How will they spin this against Trump …?
A photo of Rhode Island’s 2017 teacher of the year meeting the president has gone viral thanks to the “sassy” teacher who seemed unable to say Trump’s name.
“Rhode Island Teacher of the Year 2017 meets the 45th President of the United States. That’s all,” read the caption on the photo shared by Rhode Island teacher, Nikos Giannopoulos, from his meeting with President Trump and first lady Melania Trump.
The not-so-standard photo featured Giannopoulos holding a black lace fan and wearing a rainbow LGBTQ pin while posing with the president seated in the Oval Office.
The photo has garnered more than 11,000 likes on Facebook and been shared over 3,000 times.
“It was a great honor to be received in the Oval Office, and it really meant a lot to me that I was able to express myself authentically and represent for my community,” Giannopoulos told The Hill.
He described the April meeting in a lengthy Facebook post where he explained the significance of his fashion and accessories, referring to Trump as “the man seated at the desk.”
“For my trip to the White House, I wore a rainbow pin to represent my gratitude for the LGBTQ community that has taught me to be proud, bold, and empowered by my identity – even when circumstances make that difficult. I wore a blue jacket with a bold print and carried a black lace fan to celebrate the joy and freedom of gender nonconformity,” Giannopoulos wrote in the April 29 post.
“When I think back to my time in the White House, I will not remember the person seated at the desk,” he added in the post in which he never mentioned President Trump by name.
The 29-year-old special education teacher at the Beacon Charter High School for the Arts said he would, instead, remember other teachers who have overcome “structural barriers of race, gender, socioeconomic status, home language, immigration status, sexual orientation, and much more.”
He took another apparent jab at the president by commenting that Trump stayed seated and “read prepared remarks” at the event honoring each state’s Teacher of the Year.
While the Trump administration has not been hostile to the LGBTQ community, some feel there has not been a strong enough commitment from the president on addressing the issues that concern them. Trump has not acknowledged June as LGBTQ Pride month, something former President Obama did every year of his administration.
I honestly think that POTUS & FLOTUS love the LGBT community. I don’t think that they think our rights are in danger.
— Jamie McCarty (@JamieMcCarty) June 17, 2017
Giannopoulos told NPR radio that the president did pay him a compliment on his fan.
“Oh, he loved it! I popped it open when I walked into the office because I’m a very sassy person. And [President] Trump complimented it right away. He said, ‘I love the fan!’ And he told me I had great style,” he shared, adding that he was initially told to put it away for the photo.
A great great honor to welcome & recognize the National Teacher of the Year, as well as the Teacher of the Year from each State & territory! pic.twitter.com/jGgfNWwy3c
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 26, 2017
“But when it came time for the photo, I just asked the president, ‘Do you mind if I use the fan for the photo?’ He said, ‘Absolutely go for it.’ So I popped my fan and did my pose,” Giannopoulos said.
The photo set off social media as predictable critics of the president praised Giannopoulos for his expert shade throwing. Others, however, came to the president’s defense and blasted the unnecessary hate.
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Is there a button reading I am proud to be heterosexual, is there a day dedicated to heterosexuals, are there parades ? WTF
— Barry Inhaillen (@BarryInhaillen) June 17, 2017
Why so much hate from the teacher? President Trump has support from the LGBTQ community.Ever hear of Milo Yiannopoulos?
— Julie Scharping (@JulieScharping) June 17, 2017
Oh. Wait. Trump hates everyone. NOT.
— Pat Lee (@Leakers17) June 17, 2017
Trump is the first President to support marriage equality when elected. Why pretend that he is some hateful gay basher like Hillary Clinton?
— Nathan Van Meter (@darthdaddy1371) June 17, 2017
teachers should have been the showcase not sexual orientation politics #Education
— Bill Duerden (@bduerden75) June 17, 2017
— Scooter Tobias™ (@TheOnlyScooter) June 17, 2017
THat makes sense considering Trump is the most pro-gay president ever?/??
— AfroSunshineX (@AfroSunshineX) June 17, 2017
He is the first President to support gay marriage before he was elected. Stop bathing in the Trump Hates Gays koolaid and do some research.
— Liz Mac (@TheLizMac) June 17, 2017
Well if you get invited to the WH might as well do it in style! Props to him! ?
— Deanna (@Ristray) June 17, 2017
— John Barrowman MBE (@JohnBarrowman) June 17, 2017
too bad the liberal media tries to scare gay people into thinking Trump hates them
— Greater Than Ever B4 (@Ourlasthope889) June 17, 2017
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