"Happy National Elvira Coming Out Day," a fan tweeted after Cassandra Peterson, better known as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, revealed that she has been in a relationship with a woman for the last 19 years. In new memoir Yours Cruelly, the horror icon writes that she initially thought Teresa Wierson, a trainer she met at Gold's Gym, was a man, NBC reports. They became friends and romance blossomed after the end of Peterson's 25-year marriage to manager Mark Pierson. Peterson writes that they lived together as friends after Weirson's own relationship ended, but she "suddenly felt compelled to kiss her" after they went out to a movie one night.
"I’d never been interested in women as anything other than friends. I felt so confused. This just wasn’t me!," Peterson writes, per the Advocate. "I was stunned that I’d been friends with her for so many years and never noticed our chemistry.” She says friends and family knew about the relationship, but she was worried that fans of her vampish character would consider her a "hypocrite" for not living "the straight life." "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," writes Peterson, who turned 70 last week.
"Keeping a secret doesn’t feel good," Peterson tells the Orange County Register. " It’s not good for you, it’s not good for us. It sucks the energy out of you." She says she is still attracted to men as well. "I just met this particular person, and I fell in love," she said. Elvira has long been an LGBT icon, and fans gleefully welcomed her news, reports the Daily Dot. "ELVIRA IS ONE OF US Y'ALL," one tweeted when the memoir was released Tuesday. (Read more celebrity stories.)