Outed as transgender, Alabama Mayor takes own life
NEW DELHI: The community of Smiths Station, Alabama, is reeling after the shocking death of one of its prominent figures, Mayor FL “Bubba” Copeland, who also served as the pastor of First Baptist Church in nearby Phenix City after being outed as a transgender.
Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones confirmed the news that Mayor Copeland had taken his own life, reported the Advocate magazine.
The chain of events began when a local conservative news blog, 1819 News, published a report last Wednesday exposing Mayor Copeland’s private online activities under the pseudonym “Brittini Blaire Summerlin.” The report included screenshots from Mayor Copeland’s now-deleted Instagram and Reddit accounts, where the mayor had openly explored their transgender identity. The revelations included explicit online content, memes, and photos of Copeland in women’s clothing.
In a show of respect for the person Mayor Copeland presented publicly, The Advocate referred to them by their chosen name and pronouns, acknowledging that they had not publicly come out before their passing.
The blog post triggered a community-wide controversy, prompting a range of reactions from empathy to derogatory comments. One of Mayor Copeland’s friends, former Phenix City School Superintendent Larry DiChiara, expressed his anguish and support for the late mayor on social media after hearing about the tragic event.
In a Facebook post, DiChiara expressed his anger and heartbreak, describing how he had reached out to Mayor Copeland to offer support and encouragement during what Copeland had described as “dark days.” He directed a poignant message to those who had ridiculed Copeland, asking them what crime the mayor had committed and ending with a prayer for Mayor Copeland’s soul.
The situation took a turn when deputies responded to a welfare check request for Mayor Copeland, spotting him driving his truck on a county road near his grocery store. When they attempted to pull him over, he stopped, exited the vehicle, and took his own life.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the Lee County District Attorney’s Office are currently investigating Mayor Copeland’s death.
Courtesy : TOI
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