Alabama GOP Mayor Kills Self After Right Wing Site Outs Him As A Crossdresser
After a few years of repressing a whole lot of their Moral Majority nonsense in order to justify voting for a twice-divorced, adulterous, porn star banging, pussygrabbing sociopath (who, to his only credit, was not all that invested in policing anyone else’s sex life), the Right has mostly returned to its Puritanical roots. They’re banning books all over the place, telling people what gender they’re allowed to be and sobbing all the livelong day about drag queens … existing.
And now, they’re even eating their own.
F.L. “Bubba” Copeland, the Republican mayor of Smiths Station, Alabama (population 6,756) and the pastor of a Baptist church, committed suicide on Friday after 1819 News, a right wing website run by Breitbart contributor Jeff Poor, outed him as an erotica-writing crossdresser.
Via The Daily Beast:
That post, written by Craig Monger, had the rambling headline: The secret life of Smiths Station Mayor and Baptist pastor F.L. ‘Bubba’ Copeland as a ‘transgender curvy girl’: ‘It’s a hobby I do to relieve stress’.
1819 News published the username to Copeland’s Reddit and Instagram accounts, writing that he posed “in various outfits, some more racy than others.” The blog also said that Copeland used the pseudonym “Brittini Blaire Summerlin” and posted pornography and advice on chemically transitioning.
The blog reported that Copeland, a Republican, confirmed that the accounts were run by him, saying they were a “hobby” he used for “getting rid of stress.” 1819 News reported that Copeland asked them to not out him, but they did so anyway, even though it does not appear he had taken any public positions against LGBTQ issues that could be construed as hypocritical.
Well, that wouldn’t be their issue with him anyway, would it?
In response to the article, Copeland’s church issued a statement referring to his supposedly “unbiblical behavior.”
“We have become aware of the alleged unbiblical behavior related to the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Phenix City,” read a “Joint Statement of Serious Concern” from the Alabama Baptist State Convention and Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions. “We are praying for the leaders of the church family as they seek to determine the truth concerning these accusations. As the people of God, we pray for the pastor and his family as well. We are in consultation with the Russell Baptist Association’s leadership as they endeavor to assist the First Baptist family during this critical time of need.”
It seems as though Copeland tried to ride out the controversy in his small town, telling his congregation that the “internet attack” would not change him.
“The article is not who or what I am,” he said in a statement. 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.”
But it did.
Police were called to perform a welfare check on him and when they pulled his car over, he got out, produced a handgun and killed himself on the side of the road.
Craig Monger (I suppose we can assume his middle name is “Hate”), who wrote the article outing Copeland, defended his actions in outing a random mayor of a random small town in Alabama, saying it was fair game because Copeland publicly posted pictures of himself in women’s clothes on Reddit and in a private Instagram account.
“Pictures posted to Reddit are now considered ‘private,’ according to the kiddy table of Alabama media,” Monger wrote on social media in response to criticism.
Really nice person there!
Neither he nor the site has apologized for more or less killing a man, though Jeff Poor, the site’s owner, sent his “thoughts and prayers” to Copeland’s parishioners and family in a statement to AL.com.
The really, really fucking tragic part of all of this is that, judging by the response to the tragedy from those who knew Copeland, he would have been okay in the long run.
“I just want to ask you people who thought it humorous to publicly ridicule him, ‘Are you happy now?’ What crime did he commit? Some of you people make me sick. I hope you are really proud,” former Republican congressional candidate Larry DiChiara said, according to AL.com. “For our brother, F.L. Bubba Copeland May God bless your soul and forgive those who took pleasure in your suffering. They should all be ashamed!”
“Regardless of what he did or didn’t do, he was still a person. With feelings. I hope you never have to feel what he felt in those moments before he made that decision that he felt was necessary to escape this life. Prayers for this community that still have hearts, and prayers for the family of Bubba Copeland.”
“I rarely if ever post, but Bubba Copeland was a childhood friend. He didn’t deserve the public shaming he received. None of us are perfect,” another post read. “His life didn’t have to end this way.”
A man who said he was a member of the church wrote: “Thank you, Bubba, for loving me as I am, for believing in me at moments when I didn’t believe in myself. Thank you for being willing to get a little mud on your hands and helping me out of the ditch more than a few times. You will forever hold a special place in my heart.”
There was no news value in outing Copeland, this was not a thing the public needed to know. This was just plain cruelty for cruelty’s sake, performed by a cruel person who better be damned sure that no one ever finds out about anything he’s done that he would not want blasted all over the internet.
While no good can ever come of something like this, I do hope that it helps some Alabama Republicans consider what they’re actually doing when they shame and torture people over their sexual preferences and gender identities. That would be nice.
(I know it’s dark, don’t worry, this is not the open thread)
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, reach out to the 24–hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255; contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741; or chat with someone online at suicidepreventionlifeline.org. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is available 24 hours.