Nikos Giannopoulos, Rhode Island's 2017 Teacher of the Year, posed next to President Donald Trump while holding a black lace fan and wearing a rainbow LGBTQ pride pin on his jacket. And Trump "loved it," Giannopoulos told NPR.
Giannopoulos posted the official White House photograph to Facebook on Thursday, which depicted him striking a memorable pose next to Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.
"Rhode Island Teacher of the Year 2017 meets the 45th President of the United States. That's all. 🌈 🌈 🌈," Giannopoulos' caption read.
Giannopoulos told NPR he opened the black fan as soon as he walked into the Oval Office because he is a "very sassy person." He added that Trump "loved it!"
"Trump complimented it right away," Giannopoulos said. "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, I was told I should put [the fan] away," he continued.
"So I just folded it up and held it at my side. But when it came time for the photo, I just asked the president, 'Do you mind if I use the fan for the photo?' He said, 'Absolutely go for it.' So I popped my fan and did my pose," Giannopoulos added.
Giannopoulos' photo with Trump has gone viral since it was first posted online — it has garnered over 13,000 likes and nearly 4,000 shares so far.
In response to the internet's reaction to the picture, Giannopoulos said he was overwhelmed "because I am a really socially anxious person."
"But overall, I've gotten a really positive response through the whole thing," Giannopoulos said. "From younger people I get a lot of, 'You're my hero!' And a lot of, 'Werk Kween!' which makes my day."
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