Actress Cassandra Peterson, the actress best known for playing Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, has come out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
The 70-year-old actress recently released a memoir, titled “Yours Cruelly, Elvira,” where she revealed that she has been in a relationship with a woman for nearly 20 years.
This is Peterson’s first public acknowledgment of her relationship. “I'm happy and relieved to finally allow our secret to see the light of day,” Peterson writes in the book.
In the book, she recalls meeting Teresa Wierson at a Hollywood gym. She says she “couldn’t help noticing one particular trainer — tan, tattooed, and muscular” who “gave off such intense energy” that “the waters parted and people stopped in their tracks to stare” when Wierson walked through the gym floor.
The two became close friends. After Peterson’s divorce from her manager Mark Pierson, the two eventually moved in together and fell in love.
"I think I was even more surprised. 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," she said.
However, Peterson feared the potential backlash and homophobia that would come from coming out to her fans. She also expressed worries about going public with her relationship because her Elvira character is so tied to being a temptress for men and she didn’t want to damage her brand.
"Would my fans hate me for not being what they expected me to be?" Peterson questions in Yours Cruelly. "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 I’m with someone who makes me feel safe, blessed, and truly loved."