Rhode Island’s 2017 teacher of the year went viral this week after he shared a real photo (not Photoshopped) from his meeting with Trump in the Oval Office. Nikos Giannopoulos holds a black lace fan and wearing a rainbow LGBTQ pin standing beside the president and the first lady.
“Rhode Island Teacher of the Year 2017 meets the 45th President of the United States.”
That’s all the photo’s caption read alongside multiple rainbow emojis.
“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
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. I wore a blue jacket with a bold print and carried a black lace fan to celebrate the joy and freedom of gender nonconformity.
When I think back to my time in the White House, I will not remember the person seated at the desk.“
Instead, the teacher said he will remember other teachers who have stood up to
“structural barriers of race, gender, socioeconomic status, home language, immigration status, sexual orientation, and much more.“
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who met Giannopoulos during his visit, has not committed to banning discrimination against LGBTQ students in private school, despite saying schools that receive federal funding should follow the law during a Senate hearing in June.
Trump has yet to acknowledge June as LGBTQ Pride month. (Photo, Facebook; via The Hill)