At first, when photos of her overjoyed reaction to meeting Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump went viral this week, Robin Roy felt embarrassed.
In fact, she says, she “almost died.”
But as the week trudged on, Roy welcomed the sudden Internet fame — and series of memes — and reveled in the fact that she got to meet the man she called “the next president of the United States.”
“I was upset. At first, I was upset,” said Roy. “But now, you know what? I love Trump so much, that I really don’t care what people think. I don’t care.”
The most widely shared photo of Roy meeting Trump at the Tsongas Center in Lowell Monday, taken by Reuters photographer Brian Snyder, shows the 53-year-old Franklin resident with her mouth agape, eyes wide, and her arm pulled close to her body as if she’s recoiling from a hot flame. Roy is holding a Trump poster, which the candidate later signed.
But Roy says she wasn’t trying to shy away from her idol. Tom Brady was once her “No. 1 man,” but Trump has secured that spot, she says.
Instead Roy, who was wearing a T-shirt that read “Obama, ‘You’re Fired’ ” at the time, was merely in a complete state of shock.
“He spoke to me. He literally sat there and spoke to me. I am still starstruck,” said Roy, who has never voted before, but registered just to support Trump.
“I can’t get over it,” she said.
Roy said the image, and several others of her reaction, went viral almost instantly.
As Roy left Trump’s campaign rally, her daughter and her daughter’s friend noticed that the pictures were already circulating on social media.
Soon after, the picture of Roy meeting Trump became the target of several memes.
One meme plopped Roy’s face in Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” painting. Another person photoshopped an open trenchcoat onto Trump’s body in the picture, so it appeared as though he was flashing Roy as she screamed in terror.
Roy’s favorite? The meme of Trump’s hair photshopped onto her head.
“I think it’s funny. It just cracks me up,” she said.
Roy, who has used the picture for her Facebook profile, said she was ignoring any rude comments.
“Those are pictures of me with our future president,” Roy said. “And I’m proud. I’m not embarrassed at all anymore.”
Roy, who said she supports Trump’s controversial policies, hopes that the virality of the images helps get more people out to vote for Trump.
“I believe every word he says,” she said. “People say, ‘It’s just a cult thing,’ with him. But it’s not, and I believe him.”