'Horny Old Men' Abandoned Elvira after She Came Out

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Saturday January 8, 2022
Originally published on January 7, 2022

Cassandra Peterson, a.k.a. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, revealed who among her fans jumped ship after she disclosed her longtime relationship with another woman in her New York Times-bestselling memoir.

The iconic horror host told David Yontef of the "Behind the Velvet Rope" podcast that "horny old men" abandoned her the day after the Sept. 21 publication of her memoir, "Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark," in which she publicly revealed for the first time her two-decade relationship with trainer Teresa Wierson.

"In one day...I lost 11,000 people. They just said, 'Elvira, you lied to me. I don't respect you any more. Goodbye,'" Peterson said.

But they won't be missed. "I got 60,000 new followers the same day!" the horror maven detailed.

What's more, it wasn't her straight fans Peterson was worried about. Talking about her LGBTQ+ fanbase, Peterson said she "hope[s] they embrace it, but I was feeling like, 'What if they think I'm a big fat hypocrite, and I was lying to them?' And here I was, going, 'I love the LGBTQ community,' and meanwhile I'm one of them and I'm not saying anything about it...that scared me more."

As for her straight fans, Peterson added, "I knew there was gonna be some horny old men out there who were just not gonna 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."

Peterson added that she wasn't too broken up about the defection of fans whose assumptions about her were dashed by the memoir. "It's not like we were best friends or anything," she said. "I had to live my life."

If some straight fans felt somehow wronged by Peterson having a private real life that diverges from the vampy character she plays, they were far from being the only ones in the dark when it came to her domestic matters. Peterson exclaimed to Yontef about her surprise that no one outside her trusted circle of family and close friends — even people she had known for years — had caught on to her two-decade same-sex relationship.

"Apparently we've kept it a pretty damn good secret, because nobody knew," Peterson said. "Nobody knew, and everybody was surprised."

Peterson said she found that "pretty shocking...because I would have thought that most of them would have suspected. But most of them had not."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.