Today, U.S. President Donald Trump gave the National Teacher of the Year award to Mandy Manning, a teacher from Spokane, Washington who teaches English to immigrants and new refugees — you know, the sort of people Trump hates. As if awarding that weren’t irony enough, Manning also wore six buttons on her dress while accepting the award, including two expressing support for transgender and LGBTQ people. You go, Mandy!
During the awards ceremony, Trump said, “Teachers like Mandy play a vital role in the wellbeing of our children, the strength of our communities and the success of our nation.”
Manning teaches at the Newcomer Center at Joel E. Ferris High School and she might’ve taught Trump a thing or two, had he noticed the buttons on the front of her dress.
The Guardian tells us, “Manning wore six badges on her black dress. According to a pooled report, they included one with a poster for the Women’s March that followed Trump’s inauguration, one that said ‘Trans Equality Now’ and one in the shape of an apple with a rainbow.”
Wow. We haven’t seen fashion-shade like this since Doug Jones’ adopted gay son Carson wore a rainbow flower and gave side eye to the anti-gay vice president during Doug’s senatorial swearing-in ceremony.
Interestingly enough, Manning isn’t the first Teacher of the Year to put queer politics on display while meeting with President Trump.
Just last year, Rhode Island’s 2017 Teacher of the Year Nikos Giannopoulos became internet famous after his photo with Trump and his wife Melania went viral. In the photo, Giannopoulos looked unapologetically, fabulously queer: wearing a rainbow pen, a stylish necklace and holding a black lace fan, his head humorously cocked to one side.
Giannopoulos said that he wore his 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.” He said that he held his black lace fan “to celebrate the joy and freedom of gender nonconformity.”
“When I think back to my time in the White House,” Giannopoulos said, “I will not remember the person seated at the desk. As I stood in the Oval Office, I thought … of the queer youth who have shared their struggles and triumphs with me.”
What do you think of the quiet protest of the 2018 National Teacher of the Year? Sound off in the comments.
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