Nikos Giannopoulos Has Explained His Choice To Visit Donald Trump, Unapologetically As Himself

The Teacher of the Year sent an important message

MOST POPULAR

29 year-old Nikos Giannopoulos is the teacher you wish you had had. Named 'Rhode Island Teacher of the Year' Nikos works hard at the Beacon Charter High School for the arts where he is the special education teacher.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

He was invited alongside all of the other teachers of the year to visit the White House back in April.

Ensuring he made his mark, Nikos wore the gold necklace of Rhode Island, a rainbow pin for LGBT rights and a fan, because it was hot, and he is fabulous.

The photo of Nikos visiting the White House, has blown up over the internet.

Nikos posted it on his personal Facebook page and it has been reacted to 23k times, shared almost 6k times and has almost 2k comments.

He captioned the photo,

'Rhode Island Teacher of the Year 2017 meets the 45th President of the United States. That's all. 🌈🌈🌈

'Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead'

Many people have celebrated and applauded Nikos' proud queer stance and message, particularly due to the Trump administration's sketchy past with the LGBT community.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

He says of the all-important fan,

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. I've taken it with me all over the country whenever I go on vacation, so that's why I had it.

He told Brooke Baldwin on CNN that no-one batted an eye at his Venetian fan until someone asked Nikos not to pose with it, he explained:

So I walked right into the Oval office and I popped open the fan right away, just to give myself a little fan, get a little campy for a moment. And the President immediately said, 'I like your fan'. It wasn't what I expected, but I appreciate it. We did out group photo, and then when we came in for the original photo, the person who was managing the line asked me to put it away, so I did. When I came up to the desk I was like, 'I know who's in charge here', so I looked at Trump and I was like, 'do you mind if I use the fan?' I figured because he complemented it it wouldn't be an issue, and he said, 'sure'. And I went ahead and took my photo and did a couple of poses and they sent me on my way.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

The photo has been picked up on social media and news sites across the world. Though, Nikos first wrote about his visit two months ago, just after he made his visit.

He wrote a long, emotional and political Facebook post, which explained that his visit wasn't really about Trump, 'When I think back to my time in the White House, I will not remember the person seated at the desk.' But instead about the history of social justice in America, and the future of it, name checking the other teachers present and students he teaches.

He echoes this sentiment now, two months after the meeting. That the President and his wife were completely polite, and that his visit was really about him being an openly queer man in the White House.

When asked what he would have said to the President if he could he responded:

I would ask him if he's ever met a transgender child. I'm a teacher of many LGBTQ students. The struggles of transgender children are immense, but their needs are universal, and I think once you've met a transgender child, you listen to their experiences, you can learn so much from them.

The response has been immense, people are seeing Nikos as an inspiration for the LGBT community as well as teachers.

Now, excuse me whilst I go buy a fan.

More from ELLE UK: