This fascinating documentary is about two women named Terry Donahue and Pat Henschel. When they met, their lives would never be the same again. “A Secret Love” is the Netflix story that tells their tale and shows how much life has changed over the decades for what some would have termed “forbidden love” back in 1947.
Today, Ms. Donahue and Ms. Henschel do not have to hide from anyone. They can now share their truth freely.
Maybe Love Does Conquer All
The popular streaming service Netflix is bringing the compelling story to their viewers. There has been a lot of buzz about the documentary and the amazing journey the women set out on. Co-executive producer of the project, Jason Blum, believes that many of us could use a thought-provoking piece to watch, and emailed Time.com this statement:
“The love story between Terry and Pat is an inspiration and example to us all especially during this time where we are all looking to be uplifted.”
65 Years Together In The Closet
Many people remember the 1992 hit movie by Penny Marshall called “A League of Their Own” about the women’s All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Terry Donahue was one of the players, a catcher, at the time, and around the age of 22.
Pat Henschel, a long-distance operator, says that she had dated men before meeting her great love. However, she didn’t feel that being with the opposite sex was how her life was meant to be. When she met Donahue, her life did a complete 180, and she knew it was right, even though society didn’t see same-sex love as okay or even legal.
The pair started spending as much time together as possible. Henschel would travel with the team and take in games to see Donahue play. They began a secret lesbian romance and kept it private for so many years. The couple eventually moved to Chicago and moved in together.
A Rare Coming Out Story, Finally
Family and friends did not know that Donahue and Henschel were a couple until both women reached their eighties and decided to tell their truth and come out in 2009. Donahue had developed Parkinson’s disease, and the two wanted to spend the years they had left enjoying life as an openly gay couple.
They also knew that they could marry now if they wanted and not have to hide behind a once unaccepted lifestyle. Donahue also felt that when she passed away, she didn’t want to have lived a life that was a lie. The women felt an immense relief and became quite giddy over having the freedom to be who they were. No longer did they have to pretend to others that they were best friends or cousins.
Personal Story, Personal Direction
When Donahue and Henschel came out in 2009, the couple confided in Donahue’s great-nephew, Chris Bolan. He is a movie director who just knew that it was a special and rare story that would make for an excellent and inspiring documentary. Bolan directed “A Secret Love” for Netflix’s streaming platform, and it was filmed over several years from 2013 to 2018. Henschel says that viewers can make up their own minds. “They either accept it, or they don’t.”
Donahue died at the age of 93 in 2019.
Netflix’s “A Secret Love” is the bittersweet story of a lesbian couple forced to keep their love secret for more than 60 years. Terry Donahue and Pat Henschel restore people’s faith in true love. As Donahue mentioned in the film before she passed, “I’m happy. No regrets – I’d do it all over again.”