Hur­ri­cane Irma, a sexy po­lice uni­form and a selfie that went vi­ral led to In­sta-fame for law en­force­ment’s hand­some Daniel Ren­ger­ing.

DNA Magazine - - CONTENT - By Matt My­ers

How a hur­ri­cane, a uni­form and a vi­ral selfie made Daniel Ren­ger­ing fa­mous.

DNA: You be­came in­stantly fa­mous af­ter a selfie you posted dur­ing Hur­ri­cane Irma went vi­ral. Does in­sta-fame have its down­sides? Daniel Ren­ger­ing: Ab­so­lutely! I wasn’t ready for the on­slaught that im­me­di­ately fol­lowed. One of the other guys in the photo had said some un­flat­ter­ing and in­ap­pro­pri­ate things on his so­cial me­dia, years ago, and I caught an in­sane amount of flack from that. Be­ing la­beled a Nazi, racist, un­hinged and worse, is just… crazy! Es­pe­cially when you know that in no way are you any of those things. One of the most bizarre and un­nerv­ing things about be­com­ing a celebrity is the re­al­i­sa­tion that the pub­lic scours your en­tire life – past and present – look­ing for any fault in your char­ac­ter. Celebrity comes with a huge amount of re­spon­si­bil­ity, and I’m su­per-care­ful about what I say, even in jest.

You gained at­ten­tion be­cause of your good looks and were dubbed the “hot cop with great hair”. What’s your groom­ing tip?

Get a great cut, know your prod­ucts, and don’t try too hard. Less is usu­ally more. But I’d like to think I’m more than just a pretty face.

Your fans in­clude many gay men, and we are de­lighted to find that you are so sup­port­ive of the LGBTIQ com­mu­nity.

One of my best friends is gay, and also my man­ager. I have gay col­leagues… but it still doesn’t feel right to be cel­e­brated for sup­port­ing the gay com­mu­nity. I just try to treat all peo­ple with re­spect. It’s a lit­tle sad to be cel­e­brated for just be­ing de­cent. I hope that some­day be­ing de­cent will be a bench­mark rather than be­ing some­thing to as­pire to.

As a cop and in gen­eral life, you must have wit­nessed ho­mo­pho­bia?

Any­one who says they’ve never wit­nessed ho­mo­pho­bia is ly­ing.

Any­one who says they’ve never wit­nessed ho­mo­pho­bia is ly­ing. I was raised in a su­per­s­mall town in Florida, where every­body knows every­body. I def­i­nitely heard ho­mo­pho­bic com­ments in high school and on the streets. I’ve heard com­ments in the bars and out-and­about. Some peo­ple take longer to grow up than oth­ers, and peo­ple are afraid of what they don’t know. Ul­ti­mately, the most im­por­tant thing in life is to live your own truth. Sex­u­al­ity is be­com­ing less and less of an is­sue with ev­ery gen­er­a­tion, and sex­u­al­ity is the least in­ter­est­ing thing about the LGBTIQ peo­ple I know.

Do you get the whole “man in uni­form” thing? [Laughs.] I mean… yeah. Every­one has a fetish and I’d be ly­ing if I said I didn’t ap­pre­ci­ate be­ing on the re­ceiv­ing end of it!

Who is Daniel Ren­ger­ing’s diva?

I lis­ten to more dudes than di­vas, but Kelly Clark­son’s Since You’ve Been Gone gets stuck in my head. Gaga is a legacy act I’d like to see live. Who in LGBTIQ his­tory do you ad­mire?

Ellen DeGeneres came out at the risk of de­stroy­ing her ca­reer, only to emerge un­scathed as one of the most re­spected and suc­cess­ful women on the planet! There’s also Neil Pa­trick Har­ris, who con­vinc­ingly played a wom­an­iser on How I Met Your Mother. I was in­vited to The Ellen DeGeneres Show when he was her guest. Their tim­ing to­gether was great. Some peo­ple are hum­bling to be around.

Have you ever been told you re­sem­ble Ja­son Momoa (Game Of Thrones, Aqua­man) or Randy Jones, the cow­boy from The Vil­lage Peo­ple? [Laughs.] Oh! I can’t say that I’ve heard ei­ther com­par­i­son. Ja­son Momoa has been work­ing steadily for a few years and Randy Jones is a leg­end, so I’m happy with those com­par­isons. If I could cap­ture even a bit of their magic I’d be very happy. You were once over­weight. How did you lose the weight and stay fit?

Con­sis­tency and de­ter­mi­na­tion. Put down the fork and pick up the weights. Putting on weight takes time, and shed­ding weight takes time, too. You must be will­ing to com­pletely re­build your en­gine and know that at times you’re go­ing to fail. But you also need to for­give your­self and ac­knowl­edge your progress. It’s as much a bat­tle with your brain as your body. It took me five years of hard work but I lost 57kg (125 pounds) and feel so much bet­ter about my­self than ever be­fore.

Have you ever vis­ited Aus­tralia?

No, but I’m headed that way this year. I can tell that Aus­tralia and its peo­ple are beau­ti­ful. I can’t say I’m too ex­cited about the spi­ders! You guys have the most in­sane spi­ders on Earth. I can’t wrap my head around how peo­ple func­tion around spi­ders that ac­tu­ally eat an­i­mals and birds!

It sur­prised me that you only got mar­riage equal­ity last year be­cause I’d as­sumed it was al­ready le­gal. I thought the United States was one of the last first-world coun­tries to le­galise gay mar­riage and, to me, Aus­tralia seemed much more pro­gres­sive than Amer­ica. I heard it was an over­whelm­ing vote, which goes to show you where the world stands on the is­sue. To me, it seems as ridicu­lous as seg­re­ga­tion.

You sup­port a lot of char­i­ties in­clud­ing Give Kids The World, the Hu­man Rights Cam­paign and have a cal­en­dar ben­e­fit­ing the Bas­ket­ball Cop Foun­da­tion. Is there one you feel most pas­sion­ate about?

The rea­son I be­came a po­lice of­fi­cer was be­cause I’m pas­sion­ate about help­ing peo­ple. I love what Bobby White has done with the Bas­ket­ball Cop Foun­da­tion. His mes­sage is crit­i­cal right now, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing the cur­rent cli­mate be­tween cops and peo­ple of colour. Give Kids The World gives hope to kids with life-threat­en­ing ill­nesses, and the Hu­man Rights Cam­paign has been at the fore­front of the gay rights move­ment since the be­gin­ning. Would you con­sider a move into act­ing? Ab­so­lutely. I’m go­ing to be a red-car­pet cor­re­spon­dent/host at The SAG Awards, The Gram­mys and The Os­cars next year, which

I still can’t be­lieve! I’ve also been scouted by some di­rec­tors for well-known TV shows, in­clud­ing one of my fa­vorites on Net­flix. I guess we’ll have to see how that pans out but I’m go­ing to keep mod­el­ing be­cause I en­joy it. We just cel­e­brated my 65th cover, which I was su­per proud of. I also have an­other char­ity cal­en­dar com­ing this Fall.

As a cop, have you ever ex­pe­ri­enced a wardrobe mal­func­tion?

Thank­fully not! I al­ways wear un­der­wear to work so I’m pro­tected there, and I pray that noth­ing ever mal­func­tions with a part of my wardrobe that is crit­i­cal to my safety.

Briefs, boxer briefs or com­mando?

Boxer briefs for sure. They’re the most com­fort­able, un­less I’m sleep­ing be­cause com­mando is the only way to sleep!

The selfie that started it all!

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