Nikos Giannopoulos alongside President Trump

Photo via Nikos Giannopoulos/Facebook

This Rhode Island teacher of the year posed next to Donald Trump—and he stole the show

Nikos Giannopoulos is who we all should aspire to be.


Dahlia Dandashi

Internet Culture

Published Jun 17, 2017   Updated May 23, 2021, 2:46 am CDT

As far as emblematic photographs go, this is most definitely one for the receipts.

Rather than settle for a handshake, pose and smile, Rhode Island teacher of the year Nikos Giannopoulos made a point to make a point. Complete with a black lace fan, rainbow LGBTQ pin, and enough sass to kill a person dead, Giannopoulos fanned himself alongside President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump. Other details included Giannopoulos’s gold statement necklace, septum ring, and slaying IDGAF expression.

The photo was shot a couple months ago, but it’s recently gone viral (because, well, just look at it).

YES. This is real, unedited sass. The photograph has garnered more than 11,000 reactions on Facebook and more than 3,380 shares, as of this writing. Comments on the viral snap range from “You need need some class,” to “He’s clearly the classiest one in the picture…” Either way, many on Twitter seem quite elated with the whole thing.

In a lengthy Facebook post from April, the now-famed teacher described his trip to the White House, saying he 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.” Giannopoulos told NPR  in an interview that even President Trump was a fan of the fan. (Because how couldn’t he be?)

On Wednesday, when I met the president as Rhode Island’s State Teacher of the Year, I did not know what to expect. After…

Posted by Nikos Giannopoulos on Saturday, April 29, 2017

So, note to self: if you’re ever about to meet the President of the United States, get yourself a fan. Preferably black lace.

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*First Published: Jun 17, 2017, 12:37 pm CDT