Elvira, Mistress Of The Dark, may have but one lover (the dark), but the woman who plays her, Cassandra Peterson, is another story. In her new memoir, Yours Cruelly, Elvira, which comes out today, the iconic horror movie star and host, opens up about her 19-year romantic relationship with a woman.
It’s a big get for the LGBTQIA+ community. Elvira, a god damn national treasure at this point, has inspired legions of fans and admirers for her love of horror movies, double entendres, and the great pride she takes in her own cleavage. But apparently, she meets people just like everybody else: at the gym. “Often, when I was doing my preworkout warm-up on the treadmill, I couldn’t help noticing one particular trainer — tan, tattooed, and muscular — stalking across the gym floor, knit cap pulled so low over his long brown hair that it nearly covered his eyes,” Peterson writes in Yours Cruelly. “Dark and brooding, he gave off such intense energy that when he crossed the enormous gym floor, the waters parted and people stopped in their tracks to stare.” As it would turn out, though, this wasn’t a “he” at all but rather a “she”: Teresa “T” Wierson.
Peterson and T became close friends, but after Peterson’s 25-year marriage to Mark Pierson ended, the connection deepened. One rainy night, T came to Peterson’s house in desperate need of help. “There on the doorstep stood my trainer, T, holding a trash bag full of her belongings, looking sad and bedraggled. She’d split from her longtime partner, spent some time in rehab, and now had no place to go.” The two moved in together, which is when the Mistress Of The Dark made a surprising move. “I think I was even more surprised,” she writes. “What the hell was I doing? I’d never been interested in women as anything other than friends. I felt so confused. This just wasn’t me! I was stunned that I’d been friends with her for so many years and never noticed our chemistry. I soon discovered that we connected sexually in a way I’d never experienced.”
Since then, Peterson and T have been together, a secret the actor kept from her fans for 19 years. Wierson became Peterson’s assistant as they remained hush-hush on their romance, fearing that their romance might hurt some of Elvira’s mystique. “Would my fans hate me for not being what they expected me to be? I’m very aware that there will be some who will be disappointed and maybe even angry, but I have to live with myself, and at this point in my life, I’ve got to be truthful about who I am.”
“For the first time in my life,” she writes, “I’m with someone who makes me feel safe, blessed, and truly loved.”
Hell yeah, Elvira!