Niko Giannopoulos, Rhode Island's
Teacher of the Year, said this week that President Donald Trump
allowed him to use a lacy black fan during a recent Oval Office photo
The photo of Giannopoulos posing with
the fan next to Trump and first lady Melania Trump went viral after
the teacher posted it Facebook last week.
“Rhode Island Teacher of the Year
2017 meets the 45th President of the United States.
That's all,” he captioned the photo along with three rainbow
According to the AP, Giannopoulos is an
openly gay special education teacher.
In the photo, Giannopoulos is also
wearing a rainbow pin, which he said in a previous post represented
his gratitude “for the LGBTQ community.”
Speaking to NPR, Giannopoulos said that
Trump immediately complimented him. “I love the fan,” Trump
said, according to Giannopoulos.
He explained that White House staff
asked him to put the fan away but he had other plans.
“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