Elvira Says Coming Out Cost Her 11,000 “Horny Old Men’ Fans

There aren’t many pop culture characters that have the combination of sass, sexiness, and humor as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. Cassandra Peterson, the actress behind the character, has always kept her personal and professional lives separate, but after she came out as gay and revealed she’s been married to a woman for nearly two decades last year, it really burst some men’s bubbles.

  1. Nearly 11,000 “horny old men” unfollowed her after coming out. Once Peterson revealed she was in a long-term relationship with her assistant, Teresa “T” Wierson, there were quite a few men who’d followed Elvira for her entire career but were mad they could no longer fetishize her. “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,” she said on the Behind the Velvet Rope podcast. “I hate to tell them they already didn’t have a chance of me anyway.”
  2. The day after her relationship with Wierson went public, she lost 11,000 followers. However, it’s not all bad news, because she got even more 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,'” she recalled. “But I got 60,000 new followers the same day. It was mostly straight, older guys who just felt lied to. I don’t know – can’t please everybody.”
  3. Her fans weren’t the only ones surprised by her sexuality. In fact, Peterson herself was taken aback by falling in love with a woman. “I think I was even more surprised. What the hell was I doing?” she wrote in Yours Cruelly, Elvira. “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.” Get it, Cassandra!
  4. She was more concerned with alienating her LGBTQ fanbase. She’s always had a big group of fans from the community and wondered if not coming out for so long would hurt her. “Honestly, I worried more about my gay fan base. 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.” Thankfully, that doesn’t seem to be the case!
Jennifer has been the managing editor of Bolde since its launch in 2014. Before that, she was the founding editor of HelloGiggles and also worked as an entertainment writer for Bustle and Digital Spy. Her work has been published in Bon Appetit, Decider, Vanity Fair, The New York TImes, and many more.
close-link
close-link
close-link
close-link