Alabama Mayor F.L. ‘Bubba’ Copeland, 62, died by suicide on Friday, November 3, after details of his transgender ‘alter ego’ ‘Brittini Blaire Summerlin’ were shared online, RadarOnline.com has learned.
Copeland, a Baptist pastor and pillar of the community, was the mayor of Smiths Station. His death has shocked and saddened the residents of the small Alabama town.
The mayor’s alter ego was described on a website as a ‘transgender curvy girl.’ The website also claimed that Copeland posted photos of minors on Reddit as part of memes about transitioning.
The revelations caused outrage and condemnation from some members of the community, while others questioned whether Copeland’s private life should have been made public.
Supporters pointed out that Copeland had never publicly expressed anti-LGBTQ views, despite his Baptist faith.
The Alabama Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, of which Copeland’s church is a member, stated that the matter was ‘between pastor and church.’
Attitudes towards LGBTQ issues within the Baptist community vary, with many pushing a conservative agenda.
Before his tragic death, Copeland addressed his congregation during a sermon, apologizing for any embarrassment his behavior may have caused.
The mayor assured them that his alter ego did not affect his holy life and that his wife was aware of his activities.
The First Baptist Church of Phenix City has been in mourning since his passing, changing its profile picture on Facebook to a black ribbon.
Copeland’s death occurred the police followed up on a welfare check. According to the authorities, the mayor took their own life with a handgun, leaving behind a grieving community.
Fellow pastors and church members have expressed their sorrow and have been providing support to Copeland’s family.
Church member Dan Elkins had to remove hateful comments on the church’s Facebook page in the aftermath of Copeland’s death.
“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,” Elkins told the Daily Mail.
“By no means am I disregarding/discounting accountability – but it must be dispensed with love and care, not scorn and judgment.”
Copeland was reportedly widely respected in the community for his leadership and had even met with former President Donald Trump, who commended him for his handling of a devastating tornado in 2019.
The Southern Baptist Convention, which reportedly is no longer affiliated with Copeland’s parish, has received allegations of ‘unbiblical behavior.’