Gay goths rejoice! Elvira, the unofficial queen of all things Halloween, has come out as queer.
In a new memoir released this week, actress Cassandra Peterson, who plays Elvira, reveals that she’s been in a relationship with another woman for 19 years. In Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark, Peterson outlines her meeting and dating Teresa “T” Wierson, who she met at a Los Angeles-area gym, according to The Advocate.
“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,” Peterson 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.”
A change room run-in later revealed the mysterious stranger to be a woman, and the pair struck up a friendship. When Peterson and her then-husband separated, Wierson ended up moving in after going through hardship of her own. That’s when the relationship evolved.
In the book, Peterson says she had never been “interested in women as anything other than friends,” but she began to fall for Wierson. The pair started a romantic relationship, and continue to live together to this day.
Elvira, and by extension Peterson, is a beloved icon of Halloween, horror and all things spooky. The former showgirl and radio personality debuted the character in 1981 as part of a Los Angeles horror show. The Elvira brand evolved to include merchandise, comic books, trading cards and, of course, Halloween costumes, throughout the ’80s and ’90s. Peterson starred in the 1988 comedy film Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, which has spawned several sequels.
In an interview this week with The Orange County Register, Peterson said her sexuality is fluid and she still is attracted to men, too.
“I just met this particular person, and I fell in love,” she told the southern California newspaper.
Social media users were understandably excited by the news that the alphabet mafia had gotten another one—and during Bisexual Awareness Week, no less.
The revelation isn’t a total surprise. Through both the Elvira character and her other work, Peterson has been a staunch advocate for the LGBTQ2S+ community. Her 2000 film Elvira’s Haunted Hills was screened at AIDS charity events across America following its release.
Peterson has also appeared as a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race multiple times, including in 2019 alongside noted lesbian-about-town Cara Delevigne.
Honestly, the biggest kudos go to Wierson, who somehow has gone 19 years without publicly blurting out the fact that she’s dating the Mistress of the Dark. Now that’s personal strength right there.