A Mike Pence look-alike who calls himself “Mike Hot-Pence” has been gathering donations in Times Square for non-profit organizations like Planned Parenthood while dressed in a suit and tie above the waist and much less below the waist, Washington Post reports.
Mike Hot-Pence, who bears a strong resemblance to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, says he first noticed his resemblance to Pence after the GOP convention last summer, when friends and family kept pointing out his resemblance to the real Mike Pence.
The 51-year-old New Yorker told told journalist Howard Sherman in a recent interview that he decided to dress as Pence for Halloween, but he decided to play up the role a little bit, and went as “Sexy Mike Pence” for his costume.
“Once I decided on jacket and tie for the top half and short shorts for the bottom half, the ‘Hot-Pence’ moniker popped into my head,” he told Sherman. “And that’s the origin story of Mike Hot-Pence.”
In real life, Mike Hot-Pence is actually graphic designer and actor Glen Pannell. He said that he was aware that Pence was governor of Indiana since he has family in the state, but it wasn’t until Pence signed the anti-gay Religious Freedom Bill last year that he really started paying attention to him.
“I’m gay so that made me sit up and take notice. And it’s those kinds of policy decisions that are energizing my activism now.”
After Donald Trump was elected president and Mike Pence became the vice president-elect, he decided to use his resemblance to Pence for good. As Mike Hot-Pence, he has collected money for charities such as Planned Parenthood and the Natural Resources Defense Council, with more nonprofit organizations on his list to focus on soon. He reports that 100 percent of the money he raises goes to the charities, which focus on helping those who may be at the most risk under a Trump and Pence administration.
Hot-Pence told People that reactions from passers-by have ranged from supportive to indifferent to mean.
“A woman called me a disgusting pig. Some people walked by and said ‘put some pants on,'” he said. “But if that’s the best you can come up with, that’s fine with me.”
Asked what he’d say to the real Mike Pence, Hot-Pence had strong words for the vice president-elect.
“I’d tell him, ‘If you could walk a mile in my short shorts, you would meet so many people who are afraid and unsure about the next four years because they see rising hate speech in the last four weeks. You say you love this country, you say you have great faith in the American people. If that’s true, I’d say put your policy where your mouth is.”
The Pence look-alike, who describes election night as “the most excruciatingly long, slow gut punch,” said that he’s afraid of what the future looks like under Trump and Pence, and considers this a way for him to make a positive difference.
As Mike Hot-Pence, Pannell has been proudly sharing the financial good that he’s been able to do for non-profit charities such as the Natural Resources Defense Council and Planned Parenthood on his Twitter page.
Dollars collected for Planned Parenthood today: $171.21. Donation made and acknowledged. Thanks to all who gave! pic.twitter.com/GvBDq3YNkN— Mike Hot-Pence (@MikeHotPence) December 3, 2016
Hot-Pence says that for the next few weeks, he’d like to focus on raising money for Natural Resources Defense Council, the Trevor Project, and International Refugee Assistance Project, among others. He says he wants to concentrate on “charities that support people and causes that may be especially vulnerable under a Trump-Pence administration.”
Mike Hot-Pence says he plans to keep on drumming up donations for worthy causes through the winter.
“I’m a wimp about the cold so I’d like to look at some other locations, preferably indoor, so that Mike Hot-Pence makes it through the winter months with all his fingers and toes intact,” he said. “But I won’t let the weather stop me. It may just mean layers and lots of coffee.”
[Featured Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]