Award-winning local documentary Thomas Banks’ Quest For Love, following a gay man with a disability, is streaming soon on Stan.
The documentary follows Thomas himself – a charismatic Melbourne writer and professional speaker who has cerebral palsy – on his years-long search for a man to fall in love with.
Created over six years, the intimate and heartfelt film tackles Thomas’ experiences with bullying, one-night stands, dates gone wrong, trips to the gay sauna, counselling sessions and more.
At the same time, Thomas is also writing and performing a play giving voice to his frustrations and the challenges he has faced in finding a partner.
“I want people to understand what it’s like having a disability, but also to be gay too,” he explains.
He said he wants to challenge people’s perceptions and was seeking acceptance from the gay community.
“I would go the gay sauna and people would look at me weird, like I shouldn’t be there,” he said.
“I want to make people understand that people with disabilities can be gay, can be sexual.
“A lot of people think that people with disabilities should be asexual. But it’s really important for me to challenge that.”
Last year, Quest For Love toured film festivals both here and overseas. It won awards at both the Mardi Gras and Melbourne Queer Film Festivals.
The documentary will premiere on streaming service Stan on December 3, to coincide with the International Day for People with a Disability.
Thomas Banks’ Quest For Love will ‘touch everyone’s heart’
Thomas Banks lives in Geelong, and also works as a professional speaker on disability access, sexual diversity and inclusivity.
Filming the documentary took director Pip Kelly, Thomas and a small crew everywhere from gay nightclubs, saunas and bars to the Midsumma Festival and Thomas’ family home in regional Victoria.
Kelly said Thomas is sharing a “deep story that will touch everyone’s heart.”
“The film is ultimately about the heart. Wanting and deserving love, being vulnerable, not wanting to be rejected, and self love,” she said.
“Things we all feel at some point in our lives and things we all have in common as human beings.
“But it goes [further] to really delve into what it’s like to be a young man with cerebral palsy and to be gay as well.
“I hope more understanding and acceptance will be the result of people watching this film.”
Thomas Banks’ Quest For Love is streaming on Stan from December 3.
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