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Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, may be best known for her iconic appearances on late-night horror movie programs like “Elvira’s Movie Macabre,” but in her new tell-all memoir, Elvira (whose real name is Cassandra Peterson) drops her spooky persona to reveal her true self.
In her recently released memoir, “Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark,” Peterson takes readers from her complicated childhood to her years working as a teenage performer in Las Vegas to her life-changing encounters with stars like Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley.
Her revealing tell-all also offers a surprising fact that many fans may not know: For 19 years, Peterson has been in a committed relationship with another woman. After ending her 22-year marriage to her manager, Mark Pierson, Peterson met trainer Teresa Wierson at a Gold’s Gym in Hollywood.
In a snippet of “Yours Cruelly, Elvira,” shared in an Advocate article, she describes how she first met Wierson and how their relationship progressed.
At first, Peterson didn’t know that Wierson was a woman, only that this “dark and brooding” stranger at the gym caught her attention. (Of course, the Mistress of the Dark would be compelled by a dark and brooding stranger!)
After discovering Wierson was actually a woman, Peterson and Wierson became close friends and even moved in together when Wierson needed a place to stay. It wasn’t long before Peterson couldn’t deny her attraction to her friend and the pair fell in love.
So, why did Elvira wait so long to tell her fans about her romance with Wierson? She was afraid that people would react with ignorance or cruelty.
“Would my fans hate me for not being what they expected me to be?” Peterson writes in the memoir. “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.”
Fortunately, thus far, Peterson has received glowing support from fans on social media, and her bravery in coming out has no doubt empowered some people to feel more confident in their own sexual orientation. Here’s to the Mistress of the Dark and her willingness to bring her truth into the light so that we can continue building a more equitable world for the LGBTQ+ community.