Here’s the story behind Netflix documentary ‘A Secret Love’

A Secret Love

Netflix will be releasing an upcoming film called A Secret Love, which is based on a real-life love story of two lesbians.

For seven decades, Terry Donahue and Pat Henschel hid their same-sex relationship from the world. But, in the upcoming new film, the two will reveal their love story. 

About the couple

Donahue and Henschel are both from Canada. The pair met in 1947. During that time, Donahue was 22, and Henschel was 18.  

At the time, Donahue played for the Peoria Redwings in Illinois as a catcher. She played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. The league was famous because of the movie titled A League of Their Own.

Chris Bolan, who is the director of the forthcoming Netflix flick, said that the love Donahue and Henschel shared was carefree. 

He described that there is a “youthful quality” about their love. Bolan even said the two were playful and patient as Donahue and Henschel like to laugh together way back. 

Donahue and Henschel’s relationship

According to the couple, they only revealed their relationship to some of their closest friends. When the two lived in Chicago, they told people that they are cousins or friends so they can stay in one place. The excuse also helped them save rent. 

In the movie, viewers will witness the couple’s relationship go out in public as they decide to get married. The two achieved their dream of being legally married and moved into an assisted living facility. 

Donahue and Henschel also worked their way in fixing their broken family ties. It was only recently when their families knew about their relationship.

Bolan also happens to be Donahue’s great-nephew. The lesbian couple revealed their relationship to him in 2009 when they were with Bolan and his wife in Chicago.

The A Secret Love director shared that learning about the love story of his great aunt for the first time hit him in the spot, adding that hearing it from an 88-year-old was “truly different.”

In the past, Bolan thought Henschel had a crush on his father. But, after hearing from Donahue that they are both gay, it was like a huge weight was lifted off their shoulders. 

According to Bolan, the two ladies were relieved that they came out to him. They were so happy, they even danced together. Bolan said he never saw them that happy before. 

Coming out of the closet

Even though the two women wanted to keep their relationship low-key and private, they collected photos of them together over the years. 

They had dozens and dozens of photo albums of their life together and audio cassette tapes of their favorite songs.

Donahue and Henschel’s photos and cassette tapes were also featured in the movie. 

Along with the photos and tapes, they also kept their love letters for each other, which will also be revealed in the movie.

The love letters were kept for years, however, they ripped the signatures of the letters just in case someone will see it. 

Image courtesy of Netflix/YouTube Screenshot

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