Teachers have some of the most important jobs in the world. They mold the minds of our youth, along with putting up with all the shenanigans that that can entail, all for a salary that pales in comparison to the work that they do.
That’s why it’s always nice to see them rewarded for their hard work, like receiving the Teacher of the Year award from the President of the United States.
Trump, who Giannopoulos refers to as “the man”, was said by the teacher to have “read prepared remarks from a sheet of paper and made some comments about CEOs and which states he ‘loved’ based on electoral votes that he had secured.”
“In previous years, state teachers of the year were given the opportunity to speak to the president for a few minutes each,” he wrote. “Had I been given the opportunity, I would have told him that the pride I feel as an American comes from my freedom to be open and honest about who I am and who I love. I would have told him that queer lives matter and anti-LGBTQ policies have a body count. Taking pride in queer identity means rejecting the shame imposed upon us by a harsh society. It means opening yourself up to a lifetime of criticism and misunderstanding, but knowing that it’s worth it to be able to live authentically. Each and every queer person has been confronted with cruelty in ways many cannot imagine — verbal and physical abuse from strangers, friends, & even family; politicians callously attacking on our right to love or merely exist in public spaces; legalized discrimination for daring to be who we are. Brutality is a universal part of the queer experience.”
But he revealed to NPR that Trump was happy for him to pose with the fan for the official photo.
“Absolutely go for it,” he recalled the president saying. Trump said that he looked “very stylish” with his fan as the teachers gathered around the president, Giannopoulos told Yahoo.
Giannopoulos said when he thinks of the day he met the president, he “will not remember the person seated at the desk.” He’ll remember the students he has taught and the other teachers with him that day, Giannopoulos added ―including one who presented Trump with letters from her refugee student, “pleading with him to hear their voices.”
“As LGBTQ people, our identities are complex, but our needs are universal — to be loved, to be respected for who we are, and to be fully equal citizens of the United States of America,” he wrote.