A political race in Virginia recently took an unexpected turn — towards the conversation of Bigfoot erotica.
It all started when Democrat Leslie Cockburn, running for the House of Representatives in the 5th congressional district, tweeted about her Republican opponent, Denver Riggleman.
On Sunday (29 July), Cockburn tweeted a screenshot of Riggleman’s Instagram account. It shows a post of Bigfoot art, including a black censored bar between his legs.
My opponent Denver Riggleman, running mate of Corey Stewart, was caught on camera campaigning with a white supremacist. Now he has been exposed as a devotee of Bigfoot erotica. This is not what we need on Capitol Hill. pic.twitter.com/0eBvxFd6sG
— Leslie Cockburn (@LeslieCockburn) July 29, 2018
‘This is not what we need on Capitol Hill,’ she wrote.
Riggleman’s interest in Bigfoot is real. He’s the co-author of a self-published book titled Bigfoot Exterminators, Inc.: The Partially Cautionary, Mostly True Tale of Monster Hunt 2006. It’s a non-erotic look at Bigfoot believers.
He responded to the whole uproar, acknowledging his interest in Bigfoot myths but not knowing what Bigfoot erotica was.
Yes-I wrote a book about Bigfoot believers. Bigfoot pics by military bubbas are meant to be funny. I didn't know what Bigfoot Erotica was until @LeslieCockburn mentioned it. Weird things happening in her campaign-Let's stick to issues and Leslie's book. #bigfoot #DangerousLiaison
— Denver Riggleman (@Denver4VA) July 30, 2018
He told the Daily Progress that the post has to do with ‘a joke his military friends played on him’. According to the Cook Political Report, the joke also resulted in a Facebook author page with a book called The Mating Habits of Bigfoot and Why Women Want Him.
Riggleman further told the New York Times: ‘I have a sense of humor. I’m not going to apologize for personality.’
Is all press good press?
The so-called ‘scandal’ has prompted numerous responses from people.
Some agree with Cockburn’s assessment in her initial tweet, others accused her of kink-shaming.
It raises the question about press and giving certain matters attention. LGBTI people know the reality of being shamed and discriminated for who they are, who they love, and how they present their identity. Provided a person’s sexual interests are consensual and harmless, they shouldn’t be shamed for them.
So is it relevant for Cockburn to bring up such matters with the intent of shaming Riggleman? Especially, as LGBTI people also know, a person’s sexual interests do not reflect their ability to do a job.
It also takes attention away from Cockburn’s arguably more important information in her tweet — that of Riggleman’s relationship with white supremacists.
Last month, Riggleman campaigned with known white nationalist Isaac Smith. He’s also avoided answering questions about whether or not he’d support fellow Republican Virginian Corey Stewart, who also has white nationalist ties.
On the other hand, this viral ‘scandal’ has given attention to a smaller race that might not have gotten such attention otherwise. Races like these, and people going out to vote, are how Democrats might take back the House and win at least one majority in Congress this November.