This gay Mike Pence impersonator really, really loves hot pants
A Mike Pence lookalike has found a new calling thanks to the Vice President-elect’s rise to power.
Pence was once just the super-homophobic Governor of Indiana, but his national profile has exploded as he first became Donald Trump’s running mate, and later the largest controlling force behind the Trump administration.
The GOP politician has not won many gay fans since, recently confirming plans to roll back Barack Obama’s executive orders on LGBT rights. Gay New Yorker Glen Panne was initially not thrilled with the result – noting both his homophobic record and the fact that many friends pointed out his likeness to the new Vice President.
However, he explained to PEOPLE magazine that he resolved to turn Pence’s infamy into an asset.
He explained: “He was on my radar before the election not because he looked like me but because of his record. I have family in Indiana and knew about the ‘religious freedom’ bill. As a gay man I stood up and took notice.
“I was really dejected after the election and spent a month as a prisoner of my Facebook feed… but then I decided to do something to make a difference and put my likeness to Pence to good use.”
Mr Panne, who dressed as Pence for Halloween earlier this year, decided to step up as ‘Mike Hot Pence’ – donning a suit-jacket and hot pants, touring the streets of New York City as an impersonator.
Unlike the countless Iron Men and Minnie Mice of Times Square, he wasn’t doing it for profit – the activist was raising money for a bunch of Pence’s least favourite charities.
So far he’s raised hundreds of dollars for Planned Parenthood, LGBT anti-bullying charity The Trevor Project, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Of the reaction, he said: “A woman called me a disgusting pig. Some people walked by and said ‘put some pants on,’ But if that’s the best you can come up with, that’s fine with me.”
“I’d tell [the real Pence], 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.”