An Alabama mayor and Baptist pastor took his own life after he was outed for allegedly dressing up as a ‘transgender curvy girl’.
Smiths Station Mayor F.L. ‘Bubba’ Copeland, 62, died by suicide on Friday after details of his ‘alter ego’ Brittini Blaire Summerlin were shared online.
The Phenix City pastor posted photos of himself in women’s clothing, trans porn and erotic fiction in which he fantasized about transitioning.
The grocery store owner’s ‘hobby’ was exposed by a conservative news site last week, prompting the father-of-three to tell congregants he was the subject of an ‘internet attack’.
‘The article is not who or what I am […] ‘I apologize for any embarrassment caused by my private and personal life that has become public. This will not cause my life to change. This will not waiver my devotion to my family, serving my city, serving my church,’ Copeland said.
Alabama Mayor F.L. Bubba Copeland took his one life on Friday after details of his alter ego as a ‘trans curvy girl’ were published
A conservative website published photos of Copeland in women’s clothing and makeup as well as erotic fiction in which he wrote about killing a local woman and assuming her identity
Copeland was a pillar of the community who was praised by President Trump for his handling of a tornado in the area in 2019
Copeland shot himself with a handgun following a slow pursuit by police after they were called to conduct a welfare check.
The First Baptist Church of Phenix City has been in mourning ever since, changing its profile picture on Facebook to a black ribbon.
Images posted by 1819 showed Copeland dressed up in women’s clothing and makeup, while excerpts of his writing revealed he wrote erotic fiction about killing a local businesswoman and assuming her identity.
The website also claimed that Copeland had posted photos of minors on Reddit as part of memes about transitioning.
In one, images of a local brother and sister were used to make it appear as through the boy had transitioned, the outlet reports.
During a sermon on Wednesday prior to his death, Copeland apologized to his flock and told them his wife was aware of his activity.
‘Yes, I have taken pictures with my wife in the privacy of our home in an attempt at humor because I know I’m not a handsome man or a beautiful woman either,’ Copeland said.
The Southern Baptist Convention, which is reportedly no longer affiliated with Copeland’s parish, said it had received allegations of ‘unbiblical behavior’.
The Phenix City pastor apologized for ‘any embarrassment’ caused by his behavior in a statement to his congregation days before his death
Copeland said his wife was aware of his alter ego and that it did not affect his holy life
Supporters have questioned whether Copeland should have been ‘outed’ since he does not appear to have ever voiced anti LGBTQ views despite his Baptist faith
However the Alabama Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, of which Copeland’s church is a member, stated the matter was ‘between pastor and church’.
Attitudes towards LGBTQ issues within Baptism differ, but many do push a conservative agenda.
However Copeland does not appear to have ever publicly espoused anti LGBTQ or right wing conservative views.
Hemant Mehta, writes religion blog Friendly Atheist, reiterated this fact and questioned why the initial piece had ever run if ‘there’s no proof of hypocrisy’.
Copeland was known as a pillar of the local community and met with President Trump in 2019, who commended him over handling of a devastating tornado that ripped through the town.
Following his death, Church member Dan Elkins said he had been forced to remove hateful comments on its Facebook page for the past three days.
‘He was far from perfect – but he was my pastor, my friend and my brother. And in the midst of my anger about this whole situation – tonight my heart is just absolutely broken,’ he said.
‘By no means am I disregarding/discounting accountability – but it must be dispensed with love and care, not scorn and judgment.’