Cassandra Peterson, better known as her alter-ego, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, has spoken about how coming out last year in her memoir, Yours Cruelly, Elvira, left some of her fan base reeling.

Talking with David Yontef in his Behind the Velvet Rope podcast, Peterson, 70, said she knew that there were going to be some horny old men out there who were just not going to like the fact that they didnt have a chance with me anymore, and I hate to tell them they already didnt have a chance with me anyway.”

Elvira Loses 10k Followers After Coming Out

Its funny. One of the things that happened is on my social media, I wont say which platform. In one day, the day after the book came out, I lost 11,000 people; just said, Elvira, you lied to me. I dont respect you anymore. Goodbye. But I got 60,000 new followers the same day,” Peterson said.

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“It was funny. I know it was mostly straight older guys who just felt lied to, you know, I dont know. So you cant please everybody!”

Image: Elvira Facebook

Writing Memoir Much Harder Than Peterson Imagined

Peterson agreed that homophobia likely played a role in the mass desertion of followers. “It was mostly just like ‘you’re not what I thought you were. I don’t respect you anymore.’ It’s like OK, I mean, It’s not like we were best friends or anything. I’ve got to live my life. I’m sure the homophobia thing creeps in there a little bit. I’m sure there was plenty of that going on.”

Writing the book was a much more challenging task than Peterson had imagined. Writing the book was “like a one-year-long therapy session…it was really hard.”

“I thought if I’m going to do it I’m just going to put it all out there. What do I have to lose, you know? I don’t know. People stop buying my Elvira junk? I don’t know,” Peterson said.

Peterson Goes Public With 19 Year Same-Sex Relationship

Peterson related how her revelation that she has been in a 19-year relationship with partner Teresa “T” Weirson was the biggest surprise for fans to come from her book.

The thing that came out that flipped everybody out was that I was with a woman. Nobody was ready for that. Apparently, we kept it a pretty damn good secret because nobody knew and everybody was surprised. Now our closest friends and relatives knew but outside of a very small circle of people, even my second-tier group of friends who I have known for a long time did not know, which was kind of shocking for me. I would have thought maybe they would have suspected but most of them had not.”

Peterson also discussed with Yontef how her partner supported her decision to come out despite the risk of losing the privacy she cherishes.

“That was a big discussion with us. I wanted her to know. We both wanted to do it for a long time to talk about our relationship so that we could go places together and we could hold hands. We could look at each other and I didn’t have to keep introducing her as my assistant; for her and for me. But she’s a very private person. She always has been. She was before this. She will be after. She didn’t want to be in the limelight. That was her biggest fear.”

“We figured it was worth it and it has been; it’s been really great,” Peterson said.

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Coming Out Was Risky Professionally, Peterson Says

The disclosure of her relationship with Weirson was also a scary step for the horror icon who said, Honestly, I worried more about my gay fan base because I hoped they embraced it, but I was feeling like: What if they think Im a big fat hypocrite, and I was lying to them, and, and here I was going, oh I love, you know, the LBGTQ+ community, and meanwhile I’m one of them and not saying anything about it, so I really worried that maybe some of them would think I was a big fat hypocrite, so that scared me more.”

Peterson acknowledged that coming out as a celebrity still can have “serious, serious implications,” on a career. “You would think that wouldn’t happen anymore, well that isn’t true. It does happen. Not as much, I’m happy to say, now…but people who did come out; they just all of a sudden they weren’t getting hired for jobs.”

“It’s hard to believe in Hollywood where everybody is so open about everything that would happen, but it still happens; crazy.”

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“I was worried. I was protecting my character. I didn’t care about me, but I had this character that was a straight horndog woman…Elvira is Elvira you know? I am not just an actor playing different parts. I have this character. She is this thing and I am that thing.”

Memoir Tops Best Seller Lists

Peterson says, as a lover of autobiographies, she has a particular fondness for books which really spill the beans. Those are the ones that are interesting and that you love and you end up loving the person even more.”

It would seem that Peterson fondness for ‘tell-all’ autobiographies echoes that of her fans. Yours Cruelly, Elvira debuted at number four on the New York Times bestseller list and at number two on the Los Angeles Times best-seller list.

Peterson’s Behind the Velvet Rope interview can be heard on Apple podcasts.

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