LGBTQ fans applaud Cassandra Peterson for coming out: ‘So happy Elvira is one of us’

A woman with long black hair and dark eye makeup posing in a black dress
Cassandra “Elvira” Peterson appears during the 2007 Halloween episode of NBC’s “Today.”
(Richard Drew / Associated Press)

Nothing says spooky season like a new memoir from Cassandra “Elvira” Peterson, which contains a major revelation about her real-life identity.

In “Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark,” Peterson details a 19-year relationship with a woman named Teresa “T” Wierson — officially joining the LGBTQ+ community that had already long embraced her as a gay icon.

Released Tuesday, the autobiography reveals that Peterson fell in love with Wierson — a trainer who later became her close friend and assistant — after divorcing her manager, Mark Pierson, with whom she shares a daughter, Sadie.

Cassandra Peterson, who plays horror icon Elvira, tells The Times about her newly announced auction and how she’ll celebrate Halloween in quarantine.

Oct. 29, 2020


“I’m happy and relieved to finally allow our secret to see the light of day,” Peterson, 70, writes of her romance with Wierson in her memoir, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Best known for playing horror-hostess alter ego with spellbinding charm and a wicked sense of humor, Peterson said she initially feared revealing her relationship with Wierson might alienate some fans who saw Elvira as a heterosexual sex symbol.

“I worried that if I announced I was no longer living the ‘straight life,’ my fans would feel lied to, call me a hypocrite, and abandon me,” Peterson writes in the memoir.

By 1988, the popular horror movie hostess Elvira, portrayed by Cassandra Peterson, was ready for Hollywood.

Oct. 25, 2017

Not long after Peterson’s 2003 divorce, the horror legend writes in her book, Wierson arrived at her doorstep with “no place to go” after experiencing a breakup.

While Wierson was living in her home, Peterson said, the performer “began to feel happier” than she had in years and eventually “felt compelled to kiss [Wierson] — on the mouth.”

“I was stunned that I’d been friends with her for so many years and never noticed our chemistry,” Peterson writes in her autobiography, according to NBC News. “I soon discovered that we connected sexually in a way I’d never experienced.”

Though she had previously “never been interested in women as anything other than friends,” Peterson began a long-term relationship with Wierson, of which their friends and family were privately aware.

“For the first time in my life, I’m with someone who makes me feel safe, blessed, and truly loved,” Peterson writes in “Yours Cruelly.”


‘But it’s really the bra that’s the secret to the whole gown. . . . It defies gravity.’

Oct. 29, 1998

Upon the debut of her memoir, members of the LGBTQ+ community swiftly and enthusiastically welcomed the beloved Queen of Halloween into the fold.

“Congratulations, queers,” one person tweeted, “Elvira is one of us.”

“Lil Nas X dropping a cover of Jolene the same hour we find out Elvira’s been in a 19 year long relationship with another woman this is such a huge win for gays everywhere,” wrote another.

See more reactions to Peterson’s autobiography below.