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Elvira, legendary mistress of the dark and queer horror icon, comes out as queer

By Vanessa Armstrong

Elvira, the beloved Mistress of the Dark, is having a momentous month. In addition to hosting a new Shudder special celebrating her 40 years as horror’s mistress of ceremonies, she’s also released a memoir titled Yours Truly, Elvira: Memories of the Mistress of the Dark.

In that book, Entertainment Weekly reports that Elvira — whose real name is Cassandra Peterson — publicly reveals that she has been in a 19-year relationship with Teresa “T” Wierson, a trainer who became Peterson’s love after the two connected after their respective separations from previous partners.  

"I'm happy and relieved to finally allow our secret to see the light of day," Peterson writes in her memoir about her two-decades-long relationship with Wierson. "For the first time in my life,” she later writes, “I'm with someone who makes me feel safe, blessed, and truly loved."

The news was rapidly embraced by the queer community online — Peterson has always been an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and has a strong queer following. She’s been a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race, for example, and has said several times that a drag queen should take up her mantle if/when she steps down.

For many fans, Elvira revealing she’s been in a long-term relationship with a woman — just two days before Bisexuality Day, no less — is something that deserves celebration. Horror is undeniably queer, and having Elvira not only be a horror icon but an openly queer horror icon is something that feels validating to many a fan.

Here are some of the reactions on Twitter to the news:

Elvira’s memoir, Yours Truly, Elvira: Memories of the Mistress of the Dark, is now available through Hachette Books.

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