Nikos Giannopoulos, Rhode Island’s 2017 Teacher of the Year, posed next to President Donald Trump while holding a black lace fan and wearing a rainbow LGBTQ pride pin on his jacket. And Trump “loved it,” Giannopoulos told NPR.
Giannopoulos posted the official White House photograph to Facebook on Thursday, which depicted him striking a memorable pose next to Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.
“Rhode Island Teacher of the Year 2017 meets the 45th President of the United States. That’s all. ???? ???? ????,” Giannopoulos’ caption read.
Giannopoulos told NPR he opened the black fan as soon as he walked into the Oval Office because he is a “very sassy person.” He added that Trump “loved it!”
“Trump complimented it right away,” Giannopoulos said. “He said, ‘I love the fan!’ And he told me I had great style. Then, when I was ushered in for my private photo with the president and Melania, I was told I should put [the fan] away,” he continued.
“So I just folded it up and held it at my side. 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 added.
Giannopoulos’ photo with Trump has gone viral since it was first posted online — it has garnered over 13,000 likes and nearly 4,000 shares so far.
In response to the internet’s reaction to the picture, Giannopoulos said he was overwhelmed “because I am a really socially anxious person.”
“But overall, I’ve gotten a really positive response through the whole thing,” Giannopoulos said. “From younger people I get a lot of, ‘You’re my hero!’ And a lot of, ‘Werk Kween!’ which makes my day.”
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