An Alabama mayor and Baptist pastor killed himself after it was exposed that he allegedly dressed himself up as a “transgender curvy girl” and posted photos online.
Smiths Station Mayor FL ‘Bubba' Copeland, 62, lost his life to suicide on Friday after information of his ‘alter ego' Brittini Blaire Summerlin surfaced online, reports the Daily Mail.
He published photos of himself in women's clothes, so-called “trans porn,” as well as posting erotic fiction and fantasized about changing his gender, according to the outlet.
Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones confirmed Copeland's death, which took place as officers pursued him during an alleged welfare check on Friday. Officials said the mayor had turned onto Lee Road 275 north of Yarbroughs Crossroads and pulled over, only to then pull out a handgun and use it to end his life, according to WTVM.
Copeland's alleged curiosities came to light after a conservative news site posted about the topic last week, per the Daily Mail. This prompted him to reach out to congregants of his church and say he was being targeted in 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 reportedly said.
The First Baptist Church of Phenix City has mourned since the event, and switched is Facebook picture to a black ribbon.
Pictures shared by 1819 revealed Copeland wearing women's clothes and makeup, and parts of his writing showed he wrote an erotic fiction about murdering a local businesswoman and adopting her identity.
The mayor ran social media accounts where he posed as a woman with the pseudonym Brittini Blaire Summerlin, and discussed “curvy women” at least one time online.
The Alabama Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, which Copeland's church is a member of, commented that the matter was “between pastor and church,” per the Daily Mail.
Church member Dan Elkins said of Copeland, “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.”
“By no means am I disregarding/discounting accountability,” he clarified, “but it must be dispensed with love and care, not scorn and judgment.”