Lauren Drain Kagan is an American registered nurse, professional bikini model/athlete, licensed personal fitness trainer and author, who attracted public attention after she wrote the New York Times Bestselling eBook, Banished: Surviving My Years in the Westboro Baptist Church. her personal memoir of her expulsion from the Westboro Baptist Church.
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Early life and family
Lauren Danielle Drain Kagan was born on December 31, 1985 in Tampa, Florida, USA to parents Steve and Lucy Drain. She has a brother, Boaz Abel Drain, and two sisters, Taylor and Faithy Marie Drain. When she was five years old, the family was uprooted from Florida and moved to Olathe, Johnson County, Kansas, while her father continued his master’s degree in philosophy at the University of Kansas while being paid as a teaching assistant in a Western Civilization course.
Her mother wasn’t thrilled with the idea, but she had no choice because her father was very dominant. Eventually they were able to adapt well and her mother started working as a dental hygienist at a local clinic. Her father biked her around campus and showed her his favorite places. She fell in love in college, just like her father.
After living in Olathe for a year, Taylor was diagnosed with Wilms’ tumor, a kidney cancer. It was difficult for the family, but they all bonded and supported each other to help Taylor. Lauren’s sister was cured and eventually went into complete remission.
The Drain family went through different stages of life depending on her father’s decisions.
Once a preacher befriended her father and he began to study the Bible and told his family to live by the Bible’s teachings; however, when he quarreled with the preacher, he again became an unbeliever.
After that stage, her father began to lead a hippie, bohemian, rock and roll lifestyle, with people going in and out of their house, drinking and smoking weed. Instead of just two years in school, it took seven years and she built up huge student loans while her father kept changing courses. It was a financial burden for the family, especially for her mother as her father lived irresponsibly and unfaithfully. There were times when she felt like her mother wanted out of the marriage, but her father knew she would never do that.
Despite the cracks in the marriage, her father supported all her school activities and even coached her softball team. In 1997, her father finally graduated with a Master’s degree in Film, after which he decided to move back to Tampa.
In 2000, during her freshman year of high school, her father started filming a documentary about the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC), titled “Hatemonger.” This was supposed to be an account of the cult group spewing hatred at everyone under the guise of spreading God’s word. But with just one shot of a WBC followers protest event at a gay parade, he became fascinated with their beliefs. Instead of exposing them, he was indoctrinated with the WBC religion.
He decided to move to Topeka, Kansas to be closer to the WBC church; he then demanded that the whole family be alive and breathing the teachings of the Church.
Lauren lived for many years and took an active part in several of her church’s picket activities, and felt privileged to have been selected to participate in a protest rally. However, in 2008, after questioning some of their doctrines and communicating with a man on the internet, she was… banned from the group. In an interview, she said her father was looking for a reason to kick her out of the church. She didn’t have a chance to leave, although she was almost ready, but she knew she would be cut off from her family, so she was confused. On the day she was declared person non-grata, her parents made her pack her things, took her to the local hotel, and left without speaking to her.
Lauren reached out to her family countless times, even when she was suicidal, but they all ignored her. Jael, her best friend of seven years in the church and a fellow nurse, not only abandoned her, but was mean to her in the hospital. Jael even complained about her to management, but the nurse manager told Jael that Lauren was doing a great job, and if Jael couldn’t work with her, she could leave.
Lauren graduated from Topeka West High School, Kansas and graduated from Washburn University in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
After graduating, she became a registered nurse and worked in the cardiac ward at St. Francis Hospital. When she was banned from her home and church, she moved to Ohio and was hired as a heart nurse at a local hospital.
Overworked, she realized that she had to change her lifestyle, and that led to her becoming a bodybuilding fitness model. She has worked hard to get a healthy and toned body. She entered the World Beauty Fitness & Fashion (WBFF) Bikini Pro in 2013 and competed in several shows and competitions, improving her standings until she won the “WBFF Rhode Island Bikini Pro” title in 2014. She did this in between shifts. as a day-to-day cardiac nurse in one hospital and as a floating nurse in another. She rejoined in 2017, but did not make the top 5.
As a fitness model, she has worked with top brands, including Domin8, and launched her own brand fitness clothing line called, “Fit Angel Collection.”
In addition to being a registered nurse and fitness model, she is also a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer.
The transition from her past life to her present life was not so easy. She struggled to adjust to the outside world after being banned from her church and disowned by her parents. She had a previous relationship of about two years with a man named Scott who helped her through the transition and encouraged her to move to Ohio, but it didn’t work out.
Lauren met David Kagan through mutual friends, and on their first date, he asked him if he googled her on the internet. He was shocked at her question because he was unaware of her association with the controversial Westboro Baptist Church. When he heard about it, he was very supportive of her and helped her embrace her new life.
They married on August 4, 2013, after being engaged for about a year; she invited her family, but no one came. Two former WBC members, Megan and Grace Phelps-Roper, betrayed her during her marriage.
These two women are granddaughters of the WBC founder, who left the church the following year after Lauren was expelled.
In December 2019, they were blessed with a daughter they named Aria Skye. She and her husband run a thriving fitness training business, as can be seen from her posts on her Instagram account. She’s been posting a lot clients’ body transformations who have undergone physical fitness coaching through their assistance.
She started a GoFundMe to help those WBC members who wanted to leave the church but were afraid of starting a new life, and invited those still in her former community. She still hopes that one of her siblings will contact her.
Lauren currently lives in Las Vegas with her husband and daughter.
- Lauren loves to eat and is always hungry, but would follow a strict diet when competing in WBFF Pro competitions.
- When she was ostracized by her family and living alone in a cheap apartment, she got a cat to keep her company. Now she lives with Max, a Puggle, (a cross between a pug and a beagle), who she claims is her guard dog.
- Fred Phelps, the founder of her former church, Westboro Baptist Church, was also banned from the church he founded. It was rumored that he uttered the words “You are good people” to the gay men who painted their house with rainbow colors and lived opposite the church building. It was not established whether he was in his right mind at the time, as he was already old and quite ill.
- She was bullied as a registered nurse as she tried to keep fit and lead a healthy lifestyle. Even at work, she would eat three times during a shift to build muscle, and some of her colleagues would mock her eating habits. Some of them would often be rude about the smell of fish being heated in the microwave. It was difficult, but she could overcome it.
— Lauren Drain (@LaurenDrain) October 27, 2019
Social Media Activity
Lauren is quite active in posting on her social media accounts. Her Instagram has nearly four million followers, which has made her a popular fitness lifestyle influencer. She documented her struggle in building a toned, healthy body fit enough to compete in bodybuilding bikini pro competitions. Most of the videos and photos on her Instagram account are of her in bikini and fitness clothes. She can also be followed on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
She is 1.65 m tall, weighs 62 kg and has an hourglass shape with vital stats of 34-25-36. She wears a size 6 in dress and a size 9 shoe. Lauren is white and has blond hair and blue eyes.
According to sourcesher net worth is estimated at over $3 million as of June 2020.