There's A Gay Guy Dressing Up As Mike Pence Collecting Money For Planned Parenthood

Meet Mike Hot-Pence.

Howard Sherman, an arts administrator who lives in Manhattan, was walking through Times Square earlier this month when he noticed a man bearing a striking resemblance to Vice President-elect Mike Pence dressed in short shorts.

Howard Sherman

Sherman, whose hobby is photographing the various characters in Times Square, told BuzzFeed News he then started taking photos of the man but did not engage with him in any way.

Sherman posted the photos to his Facebook page, where people soon helped him to identify the Pence lookalike as Glen Pannell, who Sherman then interviewed on his own website.

Pannell, a 51-year-old graphic designer and occasional actor, told BuzzFeed News that he decided to dress up as Pence and collect money for various causes because he was feeling very down after the election.

Howard Sherman

“The depression kept feeding on itself so I finally decided I had to do something, and it had to be bold and immediate, something I could point to at the end of the day and say, ‘Here’s what I did to make change,'" he said.

Pannell, who came out in his twenties, has so far collected money for Planned Parenthood, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Trevor Project — a national suicide hotline for gay and questioning youth — and hopes to collect for the International Refugee Assistance Project.

Twitter: @MikeHotPence

He posts updates on his progress each day on his Twitter account, @MikeHotPence.

“These are all groups and causes that suffered when Pence was in office, so I worry about them in the next few years under a Trump-Pence administration,” Pannell said.

Howard Sherman

Pannell said it was his family and friends who noted his resemblance to the vice president-elect, asking him if he was going as Pence for Halloween.

Howard Sherman

“Simply dressing up as Pence didn’t seem original,” he said. “And then I thought there could be fun to be had with a sexy Mike Pence costume.”

Pannell said he decided to keep his upper half “pure Pence” and donned a pair of vintage athletic shorts from his high school days for his bottom half.

Howard Sherman

“I had never thought of them as ‘hot pants’, but Mike Hot-Pence rocks that look,” he said.

Because he has a full-time job, Pannell collects money only on weekends.

Twitter: @MikeHotPence

He is mostly in Times Square, but added that he would like to seek out indoor spaces that will have him as the weather gets colder.

Pannell said that reactions on the street have been overwhelmingly positive. “People want to give and they want to talk,” he said.

“I’m 51. I never expect anything I do to go viral online,” he said. “I do understand why people respond to it. It’s funny, and it’s hopeful, and people need that right now.