Alabama mayor dies by suicide after outing as cross-dresser

F.L. “Bubba” Copeland said his gender-bending persona “Brittini” was a form of “dress-up” and stress relief

Smiths Station Mayor and Baptist pastor F.L. “Bubba” Copeland shot himself in front of police on Friday after a local news outlet exposed his secret life as a “transgender curvy girl” with a penchant for pornography.

Copeland allegedly shot himself on Friday afternoon after his vehicle was stopped by Lee County Sheriff’s deputies, who had been sent to conduct a welfare check. The mayor reportedly stepped out of his car before pulling out a handgun and taking his life, and an investigation into his death has been opened, according to local media.  

The politician had been under fire since Wednesday, when local news outlet 1819 News revealed his secret online life as “Brittini Blaire Summerlin,” a “transgender curvy girl” looking for companionship. The outlet’s claims were supported with numerous photos of Copeland in women’s clothing and underwear taken from his social media profiles. 

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As Brittini, he posted regularly to transgender communities on Reddit and Instagram, sharing pornography and encouraging fellow users to transition. 

In addition to posting often-explicit photos of himself, Copeland allegedly uploaded photos of locals without their consent, including several children whose photos he adorned with text implying that the boy had “transitioned” to become the girl. One woman, whose photo he used without her knowledge, complained to 1819 that her image was now on numerous porn sites. 

Copeland also published erotic fiction online, penning one story about killing a local businesswoman he was obsessed with in order to “steal her life,” and another about watching women through the security cameras of the convenience store he ran in real life and saving the videos for his “private collection.”  

While Copeland initially feigned ignorance of his alter-ego’s social media accounts, he quickly admitted to running them when confronted with 1819’s evidence, according to the outlet. He claimed he had dressed up as a woman since childhood in order to relieve anxiety, insisting he was not actually medically transitioning or meeting up with any of his internet “friends” for sex in real life and that Brittini was “just a bit of a character I’m playing.” 

Explaining his wife alone knew of his “hobby,” he urged 1819 not to go public due to his position in the community. He stressed he had never brought the persona out in public, making it “not relevant” to his professional and political life. 

When 1819 published the profile anyway, Copeland described the photos as an “attempt of humor” and himself as the “object of an internet attack” during his regular Wednesday night church service. While he apologized to his congregation for “any embarrassment caused by my private, personal life,” he insisted he had “nothing to be ashamed of” and vowed that the revelations would not change his life.


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