Metro Weekly

Texas politician voted out of office after Grindr nudes leaked

Cross Coburn, 19, lost his seat in a recall election after public backlash to the leak

Cross Coburn – Photo: KFDM

A Texas politician has been voted out of office after his Grindr nudes were leaked earlier this year.

Cross Coburn, a 19-year-old former city councilmember in Groves, Tx., said he was targeted in a smear campaign after nudes he shared on gay dating app Grindr were leaked in March.

The images were sent to city officials with a note saying, “Is this in any way proper behaviour of a councilman to represent himself online or a ‘dating’ app? I felt the City Council should be made aware.”

At the time, Coburn told CBS affiliate KFDM he felt he was “being harassed, discriminated against, ’cause I’m a young gay man on Groves City Council.”

Coburn won his office last November, but backlash to the Grindr leak was so strong that a petition successfully led to a recall election.

Groves ultimately lost his seat after 62% of voters opted to remove him from office.

“I regret that [the Grindr images] got out, but I will never regret being human,” Groves told the New York Times. “I do not believe that me having consensual conversations with another adult has any merit to how I can perform my duties.”

Groves is now challenging the recall election, and has reportedly filed a complaint in the District Court of Jefferson County.

He alleges that some of the petition signatures were forged, and has also asked the state attorney general to investigate that allegation, according to the Times.

Chuck Smith, chief executive of Equality Texas, called the outcome of the recall election “sad.”

He told the Times: “Someone organized the equivalent of a tar-and-feathering to get him removed from office.”

Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at

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