Cassandra Peterson, who played Elvira in Mistress of the Dark, has come out as gay, revealing that she has been in a relationship with a woman for 19 years.
According to the actress, her partner of 19 years, Teresa “T” Wierson, is a trainer who became her friend, assistant, and eventually her longtime love.
The revelation was made in her memoir Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memories of the Mistress of the Dark, which she released on Tuesday, 21 September 2021. She stated that when they met, she had thought that Wierson a man.
“Often, when I was doing my pre-workout 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 wrote about seeing her partner for the first time. “A typical sexy bad boy, he was unaware he was so charismatic that he’d garnered his own unofficial fan club. Watching him from the safety of my treadmill made my heart beat faster and the time pass much more quickly.“
Soon, however, the actress discovered that the charismatic trainer was indeed a woman after running into her in the ladies’ room. From there, she said a friendship began.
In the memoir, Elvira stated that Wierson came to live with her after her divorce when she felt “emotionally and sexually closed for business.” Wierson had also split from her partner when she turned up on Peterson’s doorstep, saying she had “no place to go.”
The entertainer explains how having Wierson around was actually a “huge relief” and that she “began to feel happier” with her than she had in years.
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Speaking on how their relationship started, Peterson wrote: “…After coming home from a movie, I told her goodnight and suddenly felt compelled to kiss her — on the mouth. As shocked as she was, 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. How could I have missed it? Was it the male energy she exuded that attracted me? Her intense green eyes? Or just my own loneliness?“
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Soon, the woman behind the Elvira character discovered that they connected sexually in a way she’d never experienced, and after a while, it became clear she was falling in love with the “beautiful, androgynous creature who’d appeared on [her] doorstep, like an angel, just when [she] needed someone most”.
Continuing, she writes: “As Cassandra, it wouldn’t have mattered to me that people knew about our relationship, but I felt the need to protect Elvira in order to keep my career alive. Elvira has always had a thing for men, and men have a thing for her, so 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
“Would my fans hate me for not being what they expected me to be? 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.”
Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memories of the Mistress of the Dark is available now through Hachette Books, buy on Amazon now to read the full story.
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