The Hidden Queer History Behind “A League of Their Own”
From Frankie de la Cretaz at Narrative.ly on May 30, 2018:
Josephine “JoJo” D’Angelo was in a hotel lobby in 1944. An outfielder for the South Bend Blue Sox — a team in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (A.A.G.P.B.L.), founded the year prior — she had dark, curly hair. Even if you didn’t know her last name, her looks hinted at her Italian heritage.
The hotel was likely decorated with muted colors in the modernist style of the previous decade. Thanks to World War II, there were supply shortages and rations, which put a hold on new design in the early ’40s. All available supplies needed to go toward the war effort.
The story was similar in baseball. With most of the Major League Baseball players deployed, executives decided to fill the gap with female players, paving the way for the A.A.G.P.B.L.
But in the hotel that day, D’Angelo was approached by one league executive and told that she was being released from her contract.
Players had to attend charm school and wear lipstick on the field. Their uniforms had skirts instead of pants — not great for sliding, but deemed appropriately feminine by league owner Philip K. Wrigley. All of this was chronicled in “A League of Their Own.” But there was one thing the movie left out: the reason for these requirements.
Though it was never explicitly stated, historians and players alike say the rules were in place, in part, to prevent the women from being perceived as lesbians. Many of the women actually were gay, including D’Angelo, which is another part of the story the movie didn’t tell. By not including a gay character’s story in “A League of Their Own,” the film does to the history of the league what the owners tried to do its existence — erase lesbians from the narrative.
Read the full article here: http://narrative.ly/the-hidden-queer-history-behind-a-league-of-their-own/
A SECRET LOVE (documentary)
And here's information about the documentary A SECRET LOVE, produced by Alexa L. Fogel, Brendan Mason, and Ryan Murphy, directed by Chris Bolan, starting on Netflix Netflix on April 29, 2020.
A SECRET LOVE tells an incredible love story between Terry Donahue and Pat Henschel, whose relationship spans nearly seven decades. Terry played in the women’s professional baseball league, inspiring the hit movie A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN. But the film did not tell the real-life story of the women who remained closeted for most of their lives. This documentary follows Terry and Pat back to when they met for the first time, through their professional lives in Chicago, coming out to their conservative families and grappling with whether or not to get married. Facing the hardships of aging and illness, their love proves resilient as they enter the home stretch. Directed by Chris Bolan and produced by Alexa L. Fogel, Brendan Mason and Ryan Murphy. Executive produced by Blumhouse, and in association with Now This.