Politics
Politics

Picture With President Trump Goes Viral (Photo)

| by Sean Kelly

A photo of a Rhode Island teacher standing alongside President Trump went viral, with some calling the man "disrespectful" for what he did in the picture.

Nikos Giannopolous posted the photo after winning the Rhode Island Teacher of the Year award and getting the opportunity to visit the White House. In the photo, Giannopolous appears next to a sitting Trump -- with First Lady Melania standing on the opposite side. 

Giannopolous had a black lace fan in his hand while wearing a rainbow LGBTQ pin on his jacket and a gold statement necklace.

"The fan was actually my partner's. He bought it as a souvenir on a trip to Venice, but I found it about five years ago. Since then I've integrated it into my day-to-day life. I'm extremely campy, and it's a popular prop of mine," he told NPR. 

"I have been visibly gay my entire life; I was more feminine than a lot of boys and I carried myself in a nontraditional gender expression. And I got a lot of flak for it. As a boy, I think I internalized that and didn't embrace that part of me. Now, as an adult, I adjusted to my queer identity. So the fan represents self-acceptance and being unabashedly myself in a society that's not always ready to accept that."

President Trump, Giannopolous said, appreciated the fan.

"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. Then, when I was ushered in for my private photo with the president and Melania [Trump] I was told I should put it away," he said. 

When it was time for his private photo with the president and first lady, Giannopolous asked if he could use the fan.

"He said, 'Absolutely, go for it,'" he told NPR.

Response to the photo, he said, was "overwhelming."

"I've gotten a really positive response through the whole thing. From younger people I get a lot of: 'You're my hero!' And a lot of 'Werk Kween!' which makes my day," he said. 

Others, however, weren't so nice. According to Inquisitr, there were a number of negative comments, "...with some saying that Mr. Giannopoulos was 'disrespectful' to the president. Others said he was acting 'defiant' and still others said he 'photobombed' the first couple."

The photo quickly went viral, with many applauding Giannopolous on social media for making such a statement.

"Being a great teacher is its own reward, but I hope this picture sits proudly on your wall for all to see," one Facebook user commented on Giannopolous' Facebook page.

"Our children don't have enough committed teachers. Our children don't have enough strong role models. Our children don't have enough fearless leaders. Thank you for being all of these and more wrapped in one fabulous person," another added. 

Sources: NPR, Nikos Giannopolous/Facebook / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons, Nikos Giannopolous/Facebook

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