Inside the secret life of Bubba Copeland: How Alabama mayor and pastor adopted a second persona online – becoming a transitioning curvy girl called Brittini – before killing himself
- Bubba Copeland, 49, committed suicide in Beulah, Alabama on November 3
- He was outed by news site 1819 for appearing as Brittini Blaire Summerlin online
- Hateful messages about Copeland were deleted following his death
Bubba Copeland was a pillar of the community in Alabama until November 3 – the day he took his own life following a slow pursuit by police in Beulah.
A pastor at the First Baptist Church of Phenix City, the 49-year-old was outed by the conservative news site 1819 for dressing up as a ‘transgender curvy girl’ named Brittini Blaire Summerlin two days before his suicide.
Even after Copeland’s death, Dan Elkins was forced to remove hateful comments on Phenix City’s First Baptist Church Facebook page.
The politician 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.
So, what else was Copeland known for before his death, and how did the creation of Brittini Blaire Summerlin possibly play a role in his suicide?
Bubba Copeland committed suicide via gunshot wound on November 3 in Beulah, Alabama – two days after being out for dressing as a ‘ transgender curvy girl’ named Brittini Blaire Summerlin
Brittini was an online persona created by Copeland as a way to relieve stress. He never planned on a gender transition, but has cross-dressed since his youth
Who was Bubba Copeland before being outed?
The Baptist pastor and Alabama mayor born May 27, 1974, in Columbus, Georgia to Fred L. Copeland, Sr. and Cora Annell Flowers Green.
He has three sisters: Kimberlee, Terri, and Ginger, and two brothers: Mike and Bill.
He attended Smiths Station High School, and graduated from Auburn University in with a degree in hotel and restaurant management.
Copeland owned and operated the Country Market convenience store in Salem, Alabama and continued to do so prior to his death.
He eventually became a senior pastor at Phenix City First Baptist Church after previously attending the congregation for over three generations.
Copeland graduated from Smiths Station High School, and earned a degree in hotel and restaurant management from Auburn University
He was a devoted husband to his wife, Angela Simpson, and their three children Carter L. Copeland, AbbyKate Elizabeth Dawson, and Ally Catherine Dawson
Former-President Donald Trump met with Copeland after he was impressed with the mayor’s relief efforts after an EF-4 tornado hit Beauregard, Alabama, killing 23 people
He first got into politics in 2008 after earning a District 5 seat in the Lee County School Board for two terms.
While on the Lee County School Board, he succeeded in removing portable classrooms from the high school, and in increasing the number of computers in a classroom from one to three between 2008-2012.
Copeland was eventually elected the mayor of Smiths Station, Alabama in 2016 with a vision to grow the state’s Lee County.
‘I want to work with the businesses we have in this city to help them grow and understand their needs,’ he told the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.
He later met with Donald Trump in March 2019 after the president was impressed with the work Copeland did in relief efforts following an EF-4 tornado that hit nearby Beauregard earlier that month.
Outside of his work in politics and the Baptist church, Copeland was a devoted husband to his loving wife and Smiths Station school teacher Angela Simpson Copeland.
The two of them had a three children – son, Carter L. Copeland, and daughters, AbbyKate Elizabeth Dawson and Ally Catherine Dawson.
How did Bubba become Brittini Blaire Summerlin?
According to 1819, Copeland began his ‘hobby’ of crossdressing when he was young, but he did not clarify when he began portraying Brittini Blaire Summerlin.
‘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 trans 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
The narrator discussed the steps one takes to ‘transition’ and completely change his body to match the one of a real-life local woman living in his town.
It also explained how he carefully began to insert himself as the unidentified lady into her friend group and goes into graphic detail on how he seduces her husband.
The end of the story then expresses the narrator’s plan to kill the woman, and permanently take her place in society.
Did the outing and fallout lead to Bubba’s death?
Copeland died via gunshot wound to the head following a police chase that began after they were asked to do a welfare check on the politician.
It came just two days after his double-life was outed by 1819 and telling them he hoped to serve one more year as mayor of Smiths Station.
He gave a brief statement to his church the night the story came out, telling the congregation he was the victim of an ‘internet attack’ and apologized for his actions.
‘I apologize for any embarrassment caused by my private and personal life that has become public,’ he said during his service.
‘This will not cause my life to change. This will not waver my devotion to my family, to serving my city, and serving my church.’
Copeland added: ‘I’m thankful for the grace of God and willingness to forgive. I have nothing to be ashamed of. A lot of things that were said were taken out of context.’
His family has not discussed the matter, and for now, it is uncertain if the outing and fallout are what led to Copeland’s suicide.
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 3:00 pm EST on November 9 at First Baptist Church in Phenix City.
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