Elvira Mistress of the Dark reveals same-sex relationship in autobiography

Elvira Cassandra PetersonElvira has come out of the darkness of the coffin. 

Cassandra Peterson — the actress known as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark  — has publicly revealed her 19-year same-sex romantic relationship.

In her autobiography, “Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark,” which came out Tuesday, the 70-year-old queen of Halloween tells “her full story, filled with intimate bombshells,” according to a press release.

This year, Peterson celebrates the 40th anniversary of Elvira, the beloved horror hostess character that turned her into an global icon and loved figure in the queer community.

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In the book, Peterson also reveals, for the first time, a vital part of her life — her long-term relationship with a woman.

For 19 years, Peterson has been in a relationship with her former personal trainer, Teresa “T” Wierson.

“Keeping a secret doesn’t feel good,” according to the New York Daily News

“I’m glad to have it out there,” she said. “It does worry me. I have moments where I go, ‘Maybe people won’t like me anymore’ and ‘Maybe I won’t get work anymore.’ It’s ridiculous to think that, but I have friends who are gay and have come out of the closet and it affected their work, relationships and their life. So it’s not so far-fetched to be worried.

“But on the other side of that, it’s so draining keeping it a secret. It’s not good for you, it’s not good for us. It sucks the energy out of you.”

Peterson writes in the book that the two women met at a Gold’s Gym in Hollywood, and started out as friends, according to The Advocate.

“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. “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 Peterson and “T” saw each other in the ladies room that she realized that her “bad boy” was really a “bad girl.”

Peterson became involved with “T” after ending her 25-year marriage to her manager, Mark Pierson.

Peterson writes that their relationship began to change one rainy night when “T” arrived at her home, nearly two decades ago.

“There on the doorstep stood my trainer, ‘T,’ holding a trash bag full of her belongings, looking sad and bedraggled. She’d split from her longtime partner, spent some time in rehab, and now had no place to go.”

The two began living together, and one night, after the two went to a movie, Peterson felt a surprising desire to kiss “T.”

“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,” Petersen writes. 

“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 in the book. “I soon discovered that we connected sexually in a way I’d never experienced.”

After being together for more than 19 years, Peterson says that for the first time in her life, she is with someone who makes her feel “safe, blessed, and truly loved.”

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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