For decades, the actress, writer, and singer Cassandra Peterson has been better known as her alter ego: Elvira, the horror hostess with the big hair and Mae West quips. She became a household name with the ‘80s horror movie show Movie Macabre. But there’s something else she kept close to the vest: In her new memoir, Yours Cruelly, Elvira, Peterson reveals she’s been in a relationship with a woman for the last 19 years.
On Monday The Advocate teased out the tidbit that Peterson has spent nearly two decades with one Teresa “T” Wierson. Before, she had been married to Mark Pierson, a fellow singer who became her manager. But then she met Wierson. As per The Advocate:
Their relationship began, as all the best do, at the Hollywood Gold’s Gym when Peterson spotted who she thought at the time was the hottest bad boy in Tinseltown. “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,” she writes in the book. “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.”
It wasn’t until they had a chance encounter in the ladies room that she realized her “bad boy” was really a “bad girl” and the two soon became close, albeit platonically.
Wierson became her friend as well as her trainer. They even lived together. But they didn’t start a relationship until after her 25-year marriage ended:
One night, after they were out at a movie, Peterson felt a sudden desire to kiss Wierson. “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 writes. “I soon discovered that we connected sexually in a way I’d never experienced.” She quickly realized she was falling in love T.
That was 19 years ago. On top of being Peterson’s partner, Wierson is also her personal assistant.
When the news broke, people freaked out that Elvira — long a gay icon — acknowledged that she was with a woman.
QUEER ELVIRA JUST DROPPED!!!! https://t.co/ZpkmgZcT0b
— Berry 🖤🍓🍰 (@bloodberry_tart) September 21, 2021
my girlfriend was explaining something to me and i immediately cut her off to say "Elvira's gay" https://t.co/xtLr7ysRL9
— feet takeshi (@TheGayChingy) September 21, 2021
Elvira's description of her personal trainer girlfriend is the hottest thing I have read all day pic.twitter.com/zCm8AEheri
— Felicia "Ray" Davin (@FeliciaDavin) September 21, 2021
She doesn't say how she identifies exactly, but I will take Elvira as a win for spooky bisexuals on this, the spookiest, most bisexual week of the year. Love u mom pic.twitter.com/ra4OUsoPfP
— Katie Rife (@RifewithKatie) September 21, 2021
Elvira being in a 20-year butch-femme relationship is probably the most logical revelation of all time. I just nodded like yes of course, we love to see it.
— Connor Goldsmith (@dreamoforgonon) September 21, 2021
Elvira really said "And in case you needed to hear it again, horror IS queer"
— Brandon Trush (@soitgoes__13) September 21, 2021
maybe i'm just me but i think most of the elvira audience would find it both unsurprising and an added value pic.twitter.com/2adcYonbhC
— Hot Bonkle Bussy (@HowlingGalaxy) September 21, 2021
“elvira has a wife” making my head explode into shards of crystal
— 𖤐 lars 𖤐 (@larsaddams) September 21, 2021
ELVIRA HAS HAD A HOT MASCULINE WIFE FOR 19 YEARS AND FINALLY FEELS SAFE COMING OUT RAIN ON ME TSUNAMI pic.twitter.com/D0ZMVvByUs
— Intricate Little Creature (@boobaramanatee) September 21, 2021
Elvira, Bisexual Icon of the Dark
— PandaBerenstain (@PandaBerenstain) September 21, 2021
🏳️🌈👻🏳️🌈 ELVIRA CAME OUT HAPPY FUCKING HALLOWEEN 🏳️🌈💀🏳️🌈
— Ariel Italic (@arielitalic) September 21, 2021
The whole TL after the Elvira news pic.twitter.com/t54j8qRB3T
— Magen Cubed 👑 (@magencubed) September 21, 2021
Peterson has played Elvira off and on since 1981, having invented the character when she was part of the Groundlings comedy troupe in Los Angeles. Halloween, her big holiday, will surely be a bit different this year.
(Via The Advocate)