+

A lot of people get invited to meet the president of the United States. It's supposed to be quite an honor.

War heroes. Sporting champions. Top scientists.

Only, with President Donald Trump in office, some of these meetings are taking on a different complexion. It sure seems like a lot more people are skipping out on shaking the president's hand than in previous years.


A few notable Patriots were missing from this celebration. Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images.

For instance, New England Patriots player Alan Branch said, in no uncertain terms, that he had no interest in meeting Trump after his team's Super Bowl victory because of the way the president has spoken about women in the past.

Boycotting the meeting is a good way to make your voice heard.

It's not the only way.

Nikos Giannopoulos, a teacher from Rhode Island, was recently named his state's Teacher of the Year. His prize? A meeting with the president.

Giannopoulos just happens to be, in addition to a great teacher, a gay man.

This puts him at odds with the president regarding, well, Giannopoulous' very identity. It's no secret that the Trump administration is full of opponents of equal rights for LGBTQ people, and his first months in office have been disastrous for the community.

The president himself has yet to even acknowledge June as LGBTQ Pride Month (even though it's now more than halfway over).

You'd think Giannopoulous might refuse the meeting on principle. Instead, he saw it as an opportunity to start a different kind of conversation.

During his photo op with the president and first lady, Giannopoulous sported a rainbow pin and a black lace fan in the greatest and least-subtle photobomb ever.

Giannopolous' description of the meeting is jam-packed with shade toward Trump, whom he calls, "the man at the desk."

But he wasn't there to pick a fight. He was there to send a message.

Giannopoulous meets with the Trumps. Photo by Shealah Craighead/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,” Giannopoulos wrote on Facebook. “I wore a blue jacket with a bold print and carried a black lace fan to celebrate the joy and freedom of gender nonconformity.”

He writes that the meeting was exceptionally — almost rudely — brief. Just a photo op, then he and other teachers were ushered away.

He didn't get a chance to speak privately with Trump, but if he had, he knew exactly what he'd say:

“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.”

Giannopoulous' poignant photo has gone viral, smack-dab in the middle of Pride Month, racking up thousands of shares and comments.

When you're a championship level pro-athlete and you skip a meeting with the president, it makes news. But when you're a high school teacher from the Northeast soaking up what's probably a once-in-a-lifetime trip inside the White House, you have to think outside the box.

Giannopoulous' hilarious and unapologetically flamboyant photo hits hard, and it's forcing everyone who sees it to confront the realities of a discriminatory administration.

It just goes to show, there many different ways to resist.

Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

Keep ReadingShow less

Golden retriever has cutest reaction to sister walking.

Here at Upworthy we look for stories that will make you smile and warm your heart and, let’s face it, we could all use a little help in the smile department these days. When we ran across this ridiculously sweet story on The Dodo about a golden retriever and his little human sister, we simply had to share it with you. Taco is a 3-year-old golden retriever who has been lovingly waiting for his new baby sister, Vanora, to be able to play with him, and the day has finally come.

Keep ReadingShow less
Education

Teacher of the year explains why he's leaving district in unforgettable 3-minute speech

"I'm leaving in hopes that I can regain the ability to do the job that I love."

Lee Allen

For all of our disagreements in modern American life, there are at least a few things most of us can agree on. One of those is the need for reform in public education. We don't all agree on the solutions but many of the challenges are undeniable: retaining great teachers, reducing classroom size and updating the focus of student curriculums to reflect the ever-changing needs of a globalized workforce.

And while parents, politicians and activists debate those remedies, one voice is all-too-often ignored: that of teachers themselves.

This is why a short video testimony from a teacher in the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County went viral recently. After all, it's hard to deny the points made by someone who was just named teacher of the year and used the occasion to announce why he will be leaving the very school district that just honored him with that distinction.

Keep ReadingShow less