Rhode Island’s “Teacher of the Year” is getting a lot of attention after a photo he shared to Facebook of him with President Trump went viral.
The photo shows teacher Nikos Giannopoulos holding a black lace fan and wearing a rainbow LGBTQ pin, while standing beside the Trump and First Lady Melania in the Oval Office.
“Rhode Island Teacher of the Year 2017 meets the 45th President of the United States. That’s all,” the photo’s caption read.
Speaking to The Hill, Giannopoulos said the photo was great opportunity to show support for the LGBT community.
“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,” he said.
Rhode Island Teacher of the Year 2017 meets the 45th President of the United States. That's all. 🌈🌈🌈Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead
In another Facebook post, he expanded on his experience in the White House.
“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,” he wrote.
“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 didn’t mention Trump by name, only calling him “the person behind the desk.”
“When I think back to my time in the White House, I will not remember the person seated at the desk,” he wrote.
Instead, he honored other teachers who have stood up to “structural barriers of race, gender, socioeconomic status, home language, immigration status, sexual orientation, and much more.”
Featured image via Facebook