OUR STRAIGHT MATE, THE HOT COP!
Hurricane Irma, a sexy police uniform and a selfie that went viral led to Insta-fame for law enforcement’s handsome Daniel Rengering.
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!