Nikos Giannopoulos’ White House Portrait is a viral photograph of Rhode Island’s Teacher of the Year, Nikos Giannopoulos holding a black lace fan with President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump.
On April 26th, 2017, Nikos Giannopoulos, Rhode Island’s Teacher of the Year, met with at the White House for the National Teacher of the Year ceremony. A few days later, on April 28th, Giannopoulos posted about his experience at the White House and his meeting President Trump, as well as his thoughts on Trump’s “anti-LGBTQ policies” on Facebook. The post received more than 15,000 reactions, 4,000 shares and 1,000 comments within two months.
“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.”
About two months later, on June 15th, Giannopoulos posted the portrait (shown below) taken at the meeting to Facebook. In the picture, Giannopoulos stood to Trump’s right and held an open, black lace fan to his face. The picture, which he captioned “Rhode Island Teacher of the Year 2017 meets the 45th President of the United States. That’s all. 🌈🌈🌈,” received more than 22,000 reaction, 5,700 shares and 1,700 comments in four days.
The following day, Twitter user @lachlan tweeted the picture, as well as another photograph of Giannopoulos holding the fan. They captioned the tweet, “Rhode Island Teacher of the Year Nikos Giannopoulos got to go to the White House. And he brought his fan.” The tweet (shown below) received more than 1,400 retweets and 8,300 likes.
On Reddit, users posted the picture to the subreddits /r/Politics, /r/lgbt, /r/pics and more.
In the days that followed, several news outlets covered the popularity of the picture, including Time, Cosmopolitan,AOL and more.
Trump’s Reaction to the Fan
In an interview with NPR, Giannopoulos told of how Trump responded to posing with the fan. He said:
“Oh, he loved it! I popped it open when I walked into the office because I’m a very sassy person. And [President] Trump complimented it right away. 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 [Trump] I was told I should put it away. 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.
On June 19th, Redditor nightshade_7 posted the picture to the /r/PhotoshopBattles subreddit. The post recevied more than 320 points in 24 hours and 15 comments (examples below).