The Alabama mayor of a town of 5,000 people, who shot himself dead after being outed for dressing up as a woman, told a friend he was facing ‘dark days’ days before his death.
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.
A conservative news site published stories of how he had posted photos of himself in ladies’ clothing onto an adult website, all under an online alter ego. The photos see Copeland wearing bras, wigs and makeup.
The Phenix City pastor had also uploaded four pieces of trans porn and erotic fiction in which he fantasized about transitioning.
On the day he finally took his own life, another story was published alleging how he wrote violent fantasy fiction while also posting pictures of people from his community to his Reddit page without their consent.
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
It led to some members of the community getting in touch to check that he was okay.
‘After watching for a day or two people just relentlessly attacking Bubba [online], I was quite bothered by it, and I just decided to reach out to him,’ former Phenix City School Superintendent Larry DiChiara told NBC News.
‘It was the day before he passed away. I said: “Bubba, keep your head up. You’re a good man with a great heart. Don’t ever forget that. Call me if you need me.”
‘His response was: “Thank you. It’s been some dark days.” And I said: “I’m sure; just hang there. It will pass.”‘
‘Some people are just heartless even in the man’s death, DiChiara said. ‘His son is really having a hard time with it. His teenage son is taking it pretty tough.’
Copeland had also contacted a friend in the local police department, Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones.
Mayor of Smiths Station, Alabama, F.L. ‘Bubba’ Copeland, 62, took his own life on Friday
On the day he took his own life, another story alleged how he wrote violent fantasy fiction while posting pictures of people from his community to his Reddit page without their consent
He explained the photos as having been ‘taken with my wife in the privacy of our home in an attempt of humor, because I know I’m not a handsome man nor a beautiful woman, either’
Jones said that Copeland felt anguish at what had occurred.
‘It was a friend calling a friend. Let’s just say he was concerned about the article. I think ‘upset’ would be a good way of putting it,’ he told NBC.
On Friday, the police were called to perform a welfare check on him.
There was no sign of him at his home or at a market he owned.
Eventually, Copeland was tracked down as he drove along a country road.
Deputies flashed their emergency lights in an attempt to get him to stop.
Finally, Copeland pulled over, got out of the car, and killed himself.
‘We had no idea Copeland would die on the spot,’ Jones said. ‘There was obvious concern for his welfare, and deputies were attempting to get him to stop, make contact with him and assess the situation and then take action based on that assessment.
‘It’s just tragic all the way around,’ he said.
Copeland married his wife Angela, a teacher in the city where he was Mayor, in November 2018
Last Wednesday, Copeland addressed the news article exposing him head-on.
‘I’ve been an object of an internet attack. The article is not who or what I am,’ Copeland said.
He explained the photos as having been ‘taken with my wife in the privacy of our home in an attempt of humor, because I know I’m not a handsome man nor a beautiful woman, either.
‘I apologize for any embarrassment caused by my private and personal life,’ he said.
‘This will not cause my life to change. This will not waver my devotion to my family, serving my city and serving my church. ‘I have nothing to be ashamed of. A lot of things that were said were taken out of context’, Copeland went on.
He thanked the ‘hundreds’ of people ‘who have reached out to me in love.’
‘I love my family, they’re No. 1, and again I’m sorry for what my actions have caused,’ he said.
A conservative news outlet posted screenshots of Copeland’s Reddit account, where he used the handle ‘brittniblaire’ and described himself as ‘A Transitioning Transgender Curvy Girl’
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
It was recently revealed that Copeland had dressed up as a ‘ transgender curvy girl’ under the alter ego Brittini Blaire Summerlin
The Phenix City pastor apologized for ‘any embarrassment’ caused by his behavior in a statement to his congregation days before his death
Copeland was more than a man with a female alter ego – he was considered an upstanding member of the community who even met with then-President Donald Trump after a devastating tornado in 2019.
Copeland began his ‘hobby’ of crossdressing when he was young, but he did not clarify when he began portraying Brittini Blaire Summerlin, according to the news site 1819.
‘It’s a hobby I do to relieve stress. I have a lot of stress, and I’m not medically transitioning,’ Copeland said in a statement to the news site.
‘It’s just a bit of a character I’m playing. … I don’t go out and seek solicitation or anything like that.’
Copeland added: ‘It’s just a hobby that I have inside my own home that has not traveled outside of my home.’
‘I have not done anything outside of my own home besides post or publish anything on the internet, and that does not affect anything with inside my jurisdiction,’ he said.
His hobby – that he said his wife was fully aware of – also consisted of publishing at least four pieces of transgender porn and identity theft fiction to a website.
One of Copeland’s stories goes into detail about transitioning to a real-life woman, and describes things such as hormone treatment and buying women’s clothing. The details became more erotic and eventually, the story discusses how to kill the woman
Copeland gave a statement regarding the outing of his double live during a sermon on November, 1
Stricken worshippers left floral tributes at the foot of a cross in front of the First Baptist Church of Phenix City, Alabama on Sunday
Several bouquets and a floral wreath were left in memory of Fred L. ‘Bubba’ Copeland, days after he took his own life
During a sermon prior to his death, Copeland apologized to his flock and told them his wife was aware of his activity
Copeland was a pillar of the community who was praised by President Trump for his handling of a tornado in the area in March 2019
Former President Trump had met with the mayor after the community was hit by a tornado
His family has not discussed the manner of 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.’
According to his obituary, flowers will be accepted or donations may be made to First Baptist Church, 2608 Summerville Road, Phenix City, AL 36867 or PAWS.
A funeral service will be held at 3:00pm EST on November 9 at First Baptist Church in Phenix City.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk