Cassandra Peterson, aka, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, recently reported losing thousands of “horny old men” fans once she came out last year in her memoirs. As a result, she was anxious about how queer fans would respond.
She said on the Behind the Velvet Rope podcast:
“The straight people, I knew that there was going to be some horny old men out there who were just not going to like the fact that they didn’t have a chance with me anymore. I hate to tell them they already didn’t have a chance of me anyway.”
Peterson released her memoirs Yours Cruelly, Elvira this past September. She admitted she had been in a relationship with a personal trainer named Teresa “T” Wierson for 19 years, a “beautiful, androgynous creature.”
How Many Followers Did Elvira Lose?
Peterson said that she lost around 11,000 followers on one social media platform (she didn’t reveal which one) after she came out. However, she did gain 60,000 new followers.
“In one day, the day after the book came out, I lost 11,000. People just said, ‘Elvira, you lied to me. I don’t respect you anymore. Goodbye. But I got 60,000 new followers the same day. It was mostly straight, older guys who just felt lied to,” she said. “I don’t know – can’t please everybody!”
Who is Elvira?
If you aren’t familiar with her, Elvira is a mysterious, spooky, and sexy character from movies and television since the 1980s. She is best known for her drag-inspired aesthetic and campy humor, which accumulated a cult following, especially amongst LGBTQ+ fans.
Her character became instantly recognizable for her low-cut black dress and impressive cleavage. One of her most notable appearances was in the 1988 horror-comedy feature film Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, where she sealed her fate as the high-femme mistress of horror.
How Did Elvira’s Relationship With Wierson Come About?
Elvira said she first kissed Wierson after ending her 25-year marriage to her ex-husband. She believed that she and Wierson only had a close friendship at the time.
She wrote: “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. 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. I soon discovered that we connected sexually in a way I’d never experienced.”
Why Did She Keep Her Sexuality a Secret From Her Fanbase?
On her Behind the Velvet Rope podcast appearance, Peterson explained why she had kept her sexuality from all her fans for many years. She said:
“Nobody was ready for that. And apparently we kept it a pretty damn good secret because nobody knew — and everybody was surprised.”
She also mentioned how she was worried that some LGBTQ+ folks would see her as being a liar after keeping her relationship a secret for nearly two decades.
“Honestly, I worried more about my gay fan base,” she explained. “Because I hope they embraced it, but I was feeling like: ‘What if they think I’m a big fat hypocrite, and I was lying to them? So that scared me more.”
What Has the Reception Been Like After Elvira Came Out?
Elvira received positive responses within her social circles. However, many straight fans were upset by her revealing her queer identity.
“The straight people, I knew that there was going to be some horny old men out there who were just not going to like the fact that they didn’t have a chance with me anymore,” Elvira said to podcast host David Yontef.
However, Elvira’s coming out has mainly been a happy moment during these troubling times, especially since she has such an appeal within the queer community due to her hypersexuality and twisted nature.
Even though Elvira was worried that her queer fans might not embrace her coming out, it was actually the opposite. LGBTQ+ fans online have been celebrating that the campy queen has been a part of their community the whole time.