Cassandra “Elvira” Peterson Has Finally Spoken Openly About Her Gender Identity

MOVIE NEWS – The actress behind Elvira: Mistress of the Dark says she feels better than ever after finally coming out about her sexuality.



Elvira, the Dark Mistress. In the ’80s and ’90s, she was an icon of all things black and spooky. In addition to numerous film and TV appearances, Cassandra Peterson’s alter-ego even inspired two video games, which were released on Amiga back in the day. Last year, however, fans got to see a different side of the queen, and it was a truly scary time for her. Now, in 2022, she is willing to talk more openly about her sexuality and how coming out has changed her life.

Peterson, who continues to wear black, revealed her 20-year relationship with a woman in her 2021 memoir Yours Cruelly, Elvira.

Peterson branded herself as sexually fluid. In the words of her memoir, the main wall that kept her from coming out was her friendships. She befriended many people who came out throughout her career and unfortunately suffered the consequences of an arguably more prejudiced era. She didn’t name names, but she was there when their careers went up in smoke because of the embrace of their sexual identity. She said they were all men, and she feared that the reactions to a woman might be even worse.

According to Variety, Peterson is very protective of her career and Elvira’s character. In an interview, she was cautious about the details of her private life because she feared the possible repercussions and that fans would associate her own life with her character. But being so secretive about her personal life took a toll on her self-esteem.

“It made my personal life not fun. I felt like a hypocrite. You’re hiding something, and it certainly didn’t make ‘T,’ my partner, feel good.”

‘T’ stood for Teresa Wierson, Peterson’s partner. The two met and began dating when Peterson divorced singer and manager Mark Pierson in 2003. She introduced Wierson as her assistant during that time, but it was not the same.

“People would ignore her and it was awful.”

When “Elvira” Peterson celebrated her 70th birthday last year, she decided it was time to stop hiding.

“If I don’t do it now, when the hell am I going to do it? Who cares if people hate my character as Elvira and it goes down the tubes?”

Peterson admitted it was challenging to write this particular chapter of her life. She worried about making her gayness seem trendy as if she was doing it just to be cool. In her own words, she “make sure it came out the right way.”

Peterson admitted that she had lost 11 000 followers on social media since coming out.

But she didn’t take it personally. In the Behind the Velvet Rope podcast, she detailed that they were probably following her for the wrong reasons.

“I knew that there were going to be some horny old men out there who were just not going to like the fact that they didn’t have a chance with me anymore. And I hate to tell them they already didn’t have a chance with me anyway.”

She went on to note that for every loss, there were plenty of new followers to take their place. She detailed how her fans came forward to tell her she inspired them to come out and be proud of themselves. Ultimately, coming out was not only good for her but also for her and Elvira’s fans. The two positives went hand in hand, and it opened up a whole new world for the actress, writer and singer. She spoke fondly of how coming out has changed how she and her partner can be together in public.

“It feels good to be able to introduce her as my partner, and to be able to hold hands. We just went to Hawaii on a vacation, and to walk down the beach and hold hands and act like we’re together was cool.”

Source: Variety

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