Danni McClannahan

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Danni McClannahan
Born Daniel Wayne McClannahan
October 28, 1970 (1970-10-28) (age 51)
Terre Huate, Indiana USA
Spouse Leonard Lai (m. 1995; wid. 2015) (his death)
Partner Lanise White (2016-present)
Children With Leonard Lai:
Laurisa McClannahan
Leonard "Lee" McClannahan, Jr.
Lexi McClannahan
With Lanise White: 3

Danielle "Danni" Catherine McClannanan (born Daniel Wayne McClannahan; October 28, 1970)[1] is a public speaker, author, and advocate for transgender and sexuality issues with a focus on trans fertility and reproductive rights. McClannahan is also known for her marriage to Leonard Lai.


Early life[edit]

Born Daniel Wayne McClannahan, Danielle was born and raised in Terre Haute, Indiana, the first of two children. Her mother was from Indianapolis and of English descent. His father, Jackson "Jack" McClannahan, was born and raised in Terre Haute and was a longtime anchorman at the local NBC affiliate WVTH.[2] As a teenager, McClannahan was a male model and later became a competitive bodybuilder.

In 1993, McClannahan graduated from the Indiana State Univeristy with a bachelor's degree in Health Science (Pre-med) and later pursued an Executive MBA.

Personal life[edit]

Marriage to Leonard Lai[edit]

McClannahan married Leonard Lai (then known as Stephanie Lai) in a legally valid opposite-sex marriage in Indiana on February 14, 1995.[3] The couple remained in Terre Haute filed joint state and federal taxes and bought homes together as domestic partners. After Lai's transition from female to male, Leonard gave birth to all three of his children from 1996 to 1998. McClannahan had two daughters, Laurisa (b. 1996) and Lexi (b. 1998) and a son, Leonard "Lee" (b. 1997).

They remained married for 20 years until Lai's death on October 26, 2015.

Long-term relationship with Lanise White and coming out as a transgender woman[edit]

In November 2015, a few weeks after the death of her husband, Leonard, only Julia Passalt and Kellie Rock (two former colleagues of her father's at WVTH) began to notice that McClannahan's appearance was becoming more feminine (notably McClannahan's hair growing out). McClannahan was reported to have come out as a trans woman as well as having an affair with Lanise White; this was confirmed on December 18, 2015 after McClannahan was declared Santa Ava's best of Nice defeating Rick Cortopassi, in what would be her last appearance as Daniel and confirmed by White.

The deal, which was part of a long-term relationship agreement was driven by White's move from the pink team to the purple team on the American version of Vote for the Girls; Leonard Lai had considered filing for divorce, but McClannahan reportedly balked at Lai's demands for alimony before Lai's October 26, 2015 death.[4] This led to White reaching a deal with McClannahan, which White was eager to land since the she is a bisexual woman. This marked the second time a Vote for the Girls purple team moderator has taken a significant other away from her spouse, the first being Ava Zinn when she sold her virginity to Kymberly Alvaraz a year earlier (from her husband Dan Alvaraz). [5]

On December 14, 2015 during a taping of The Kathy Finklemyer Show, McClannahan came out as a trans woman, saying she had dealt with Gender Identity Disorder since her youth. McClannahan cross dressed for many years and took hormone replacement therapy but stopped after her romance with Leonard Lai in the early 1990s became more serious. McClannahan recounts having permission to explore her gender identity on her own travels but not when they were coupled, and that not knowing the best way to talk about the many issues contributed to the deterioration of the 20-year-long marriage, which ended upon Lai's death in 2015.

While she has undergone some cosmetic surgery, she has neither undergone sex reassignment surgery nor ruled it out; she stated that, for her, life as a woman is primarily a matter of mental state and lifestyle.[6] She said she has never been sexually attracted to biological men, but has instead always been sexually attracted to women and transmen, and that, keeping in mind the difficulty people have understanding the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity.


On March 15, 2016, news of the relationship with White and McClannahan became public during a taping of Vote for the Girls, Lanise and Danni were expecting a baby. The child will be McClannahan's fourth, who has three children from her previous marriage with Leonard Lai but the third for White. White confirmed that she is three weeks pregnant and McClannahan, as a woman, is the biological father of White's child–unusual for a woman in her 50's as many go through menopause. On September 10, 2016 at 53 years one month and two days, White gave birth to twin boys, Dalton Laith and Nyle Adam White, and a daughter, Madison Hannah White, jokingly she was the only one on the maternity ward who was also a member of AARP.[7]


McClannahan now lives in Anderson, Indiana, with her girlfriend, Lanise White.


References[edit]

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  6. Kathy Finklemyer, (December 14, 2015)
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External links[edit]