GOP mayor dies by suicide after conservative blog outs his secret trans identity
GOP mayor dies by suicide after conservative blog outs his secret trans identity The mayor reportedly begged the publication not to out him, but they did it anyway.
By Molly Sprayregen Monday, November 6, 2023
Photo: Smiths Station
A pastor and Alabama mayor has died by suicide after a conservative blog outed his online alter-ego as a trans woman.
The post on 1819 News reported that F.L. “Bubba Copeland” – the Republican mayor of Smiths Station, Alabama, pastor at Phenix City’s First Baptist Church, and father of three – “operated social media accounts as a transgender woman under the pseudonym Brittini Blaire Summerlin.” It detailed Copeland’s posts (and included screenshots) in which he described himself as a transgender woman and wore women’s clothing. It also stated that he published “self-authored transgender fiction and erotica” and “posted transgender pornography.”
The post also acknowledged that Copeland asked 1819 News not to publish the story and deleted the accounts after they reached out to him. He told the publication it was a “hobby” and “fantasy” that he used to destress and that he did not actually feel like a woman.
“Just my wife knows about it,” Copeland said. “It’s a hobby I do to relieve stress. I have a lot of stress, and I’m not medically transitioning. It’s just a bit of a character I’m playing… I don’t go out and seek solicitation or anything like that.”
“What I do in private life has nothing to do with what I do in my holy life,” Copeland emphasized. “Does this have any effect on me being mayor, that I sometimes put on a dress or sometimes put on makeup? Does that have anything to do whatsoever with me being mayor or being a pastor?”
After the post was published, Copeland reportedly spoke to his congregation about it. “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,” he said, according to AL.com. “This will not cause my life to change. This will not waiver my devotion to my family, serving my city, serving my church.”
The news also reached the Alabama Baptist State Convention and the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions. They released a joint statement explaining they “have become aware of the alleged unbiblical behavior related to the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Phenix City.”
It continued, “We are praying for the leaders of the church family as they seek to determine the truth concerning these accusations. As the people of God, we pray for the pastor and his family as well. We are in consultation with the Russell Baptist Association’s leadership as they endeavor to assist the First Baptist family during this critical time of need.” Copeland’s death took place after police responded to a request for a welfare check on him, according to local news station WDHN. They found him driving his truck and tried to pull him over. Copeland then stepped out of his truck and shot himself.
His death has brought devastation to the community, as well as anger for what happened to him.
“I am so angry right now and heartbroken,” Phenix City School’s former superintendent Dr. Larry DiChiara wrote on Facebook. “I witnessed a good man be publicly ridiculed and crucified over the last few days… to the point that he just took his own life today. I knew he was suffering, so I reached out to him yesterday and offered him support and encouragement. He was appreciative and acknowledged that he had been going through some ‘dark days’ over the last few days.” “I just want to ask you people who thought it humorous to publicly ridicule him, ‘Are you happy now?’ What crime did he commit? Some of you people make me sick. I hope you are really proud. For our brother, F.L. Bubba Copeland, May God bless your soul and forgive those who took pleasure in your suffering. They should all be ashamed!”
Alabama’s former Sen. Doug Jones (D) wrote on X that it “is sad and disgusting how [Copeland] was treated by the @1819News for personal decisions however misguided they might have been. We live in a mean, bitter world where the self righteous tend to throw the largest stones and the @1819News is the perfect example.”
Jones also mentioned the deadly tornado through which Copeland led Smiths Station in 2019 during his first term as mayor. He became a nationally known leader after the devastating event took 23 lives. Jones called Copeland “a good man and a great mayor.” “I toured the destruction with him,” he said, “helped him navigate the FEMA recovery efforts and made sure that he was able to plead his case directly to President Trump.”
Alabama Pardons and Paroles director Cam Ward also mourned Copeland, writing on X, “This is so incredibly sad. We live in a society where many people are going through so much. Regardless of decisions we may disagree with we should always love our fellow man as the Bible teaches us. I know first hand. A lot of folks reading his story should look in the mirror.”
Ward was responding to a post by Leah Nelson, research director at Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, who said, “This man by the accounts I read was a good mayor who led his town through a terrible time. Blowing up his private life, in this environment, was a cruel decision.”
(JB: But you do exactly the same to anyone who is trans or LGBT - you out them and destroy them so stop being holier than thou - all you sound like is a hypocrite . The media does it all the time - ALL THE TIME - Good decent people outed and destroyed - so cut the crap. ) Lee County Democratic Party Chairperson Jamie Lowe called Copeland “the backbone of Smiths Station” and declared, “The practice of demonizing each because of personal life choices must end because it has very real and life-altering consequences.”
( JB: So cut out your homophobic ranting which the Republican Party is all about. )
A statement from 1819 News mourned Copeland’s death but did not apologize for the post. Jeff Poor, the publication’s editor-in-chief, told AL.com, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Smiths Station, the parishioners of First Baptist Church of Phenix City, and the victims and family of Mayor Copeland.” Meanwhile, those in the community mourned his passing and praised his work as mayor. One church member wrote, “Thank you, Bubba, for loving me as I am, for believing in me at moments when I didn’t believe in myself. Thank you for being willing to get a little mud on your hands and helping me out of the ditch more than a few times. You will forever hold a special place in my heart.”
He sounds like one of the good guys, hounded by the media and destroyed.
While this article saddened me - I am appalled at several points made.
The magazine that outed him - 1819 News - should now be held accountable as he begged them not to publish and they did anyway. FUCKING MEDIA. Absolute assholes. They have a story and are determined to run with it even if it destroys lives.
They now have blood on their hands.
But on the other hand.
The Republican party are totally against the LGBT community and VERY against anything and anyone who may cross dress, be a drag queen or trans and they are vehemently against - yet here is a member of the church and a town mayor who is also a Republican - and he lives this lifestyle in secret ???
Now I see absolutely nothing wrong with having a secret and private life IF IT DOES NOT GO AGAINST EVERYTHING YOU OTHERWISE STAND FOR - ie: ANTI LGBT BAPTIST MINISTER - ( So a hypocrite )
I have no idea if he was a homophobe and trans bigot at all, he may very well have not been - I have no idea - and while the Republicans are - and the Baptist Church - many branches are - what are we to make of this mans actions under the circumstances - and maybe we can understand why the magazine exposed his hypocrisy and double standards.
I will point out that not all Baptist Ministries are homophobic but sadly, by allowing some branches of the church to offer an appalling bigoted view of Biblical writings and you do nothing to stop it, and the rest of the church says and does nothing, then that makes them just as bad - by doing nothing, that lack of action gives permission to continue and that drags the whole church into disrepute.
I feel desperately sorry for the man and angry at the magazine but they saw a hypocrite - a MASSIVE HYPOCRITE - a Republican, a Trump follower, and in Politics like Religion, you cannot use the Bible as an a la carte menu and only follow the bits that suit you and forget about the rest - ( like most people do... ) and the same in politics. If you take the job and the money and follow a leader - say Trump and the Republicans, then you cannot pick and choose what you want from your Republican Manifesto and support some people while betraying others.
If I ruled the world, everyone would be equal, regardless of all this crap that people INVITE AND WANT - to use against others and cast them as the Bogey Man, and in different circumstances, we are all the Bogey Man. Anyone screaming at another for being different does so out of fear - absolute fear - fear of different cultures - fear of another's religious beliefs - fear of another's different lifestyle and ignorance itself assuming you are right and everyone that differs, is wrong.
How Un Godly is that ?
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