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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).
Rhode Island Teacher of the Year 2017 meets the 45th President of the United States. That's all. 🌈🌈🌈Official White House Photo by Shealah CraigheadPosted by Nikos Giannopoulos on Thursday, June 15, 2017
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.
I love this man, Rhode Island teacher of the year, Nikos Giannopoulos #rainbowpin#Pridemonth#Proud pic.twitter.com/SLAzCn4FYF— welander (@welander8) June 16, 2017
This is apparently a real picture of Rhode Island’s Teacher of the Year, Nikos Giannopoulos trolling Trump in the Oval Office. 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/nBPozVmHh3— Andrew Hibbard (@andrewhibbard) June 16, 2017
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.
Dahlia Dandashi is a multimedia content producer. Her work has been published at the Austin American-Statesman and Viceland. An Arab-American raised in Dubai, she is based in Austin, Texas.