Elvira a.k.a. Cassandra Peterson has been a horror movie icon for almost half a century. Her tongue-in-cheek attitude and sultry demeanor led her to stardom as a figurehead for the horror community. Throughout numerous horror hosting projects and even her own feature films, she has cemented her legacy as one of the absolute greatest figures in horror history. And now, she has revealed that she is gay and has been in a relationship with another woman for the last twenty years.
In her newly released autobiography, Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark, Cassandra Peterson let the cat out of the bag that she has been in a relationship with Teresa “T” Wierson for nearly two decades after they met at the Hollywood Gold’s Gym. Wierson became friends with Peterson and eventually became her personal trainer. After Wierson suffered a big break-up and some time in rehab, she moved in with Peterson and the two got much closer until they eventually fell in love. “I soon discovered that we connected sexually in a way I’d never experienced,” she writes in her autobiography.
The revelation is being celebrated in the LGBTQ+ community as Elvira has always been a prominent and supportive figure in queer culture. She has made multiple appearances on shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race and has been openly supportive of queer causes over the years. Now, she is being embraced by the same community that she showed such affection towards.
And it couldn’t come at a better time for the performer. Peterson will be celebrating her 40th anniversary as Elvira with an upcoming horror hosting special on the streaming service Shudder, Elvira’s 40th Anniversary, Very Scary, Very Special Special. Shudder has already proven to be fruitful for another horror host, Joe Bob Briggs, and it is expected that Peterson’s new special could lead to a recurring gig with Shudder. With the news of her coming out, it is possible that even more fans will give the special a look now. Regardless, it is wonderful to see Peterson feel comfortable about coming out regarding her sexuality.
Elvira was created for a horror hosting spot on Elvira’s Movie Macabre in 1981. Cassandra Peterson came up with the look of the character as well as her personality. The punky goth look was bolstered by a satirical and bubbly attitude that poked fun at the B-movies she was showing. Her popularity soared and she ended up starring in her own feature film, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, in 1988. After a number of failed attempts, she was also able to get a follow-up film made, Elvira’s Haunted Hills, in 2001. Although, it was a completely new story that didn’t connect with the original film. She was even given thirteen horror hosting episodes in the Halloween special, 13 Nights of Elvira, back in 2014.
Here’s hoping this leg of Peterson’s career gets the boost it deserves. She has been trying to get a sequel to her original feature film off the ground for a while and maybe this rise in her profile will help. But most importantly, it is clear that she is living her best life. “For the first time in my life, I’m with someone who makes me feel safe, blessed, and truly loved,” she says in her new book. Just like she has said to her fans for over forty years, we wish Elvira and “T” unpleasant dreams.