A gay man in Australia has been overwhelmed by the amount of support he received to help paint his house in rainbow colors. The local community stepped up after a small number of neigbors objected to the plan and threatened him with violence.
Mykey O’Halloran, 29 is a hair artist who specializes in coloring hair, often in bright colors and rainbows designs. He runs a business called Unicorn Manes by Mykey.
In February, he moved from Melbourne to a new bungalow home on nearby Phillip Island (population: 7,000). He was overjoyed to buy his new home.
With his brightly colored hair, we imagine he quickly became known in the neighborhood.
When news emerged that O’Halloran wanted to paint rainbows all over his new property, not everyone was happy. In fact, last month, a small number of men confronted him about the idea. At first, they argued it would devalue local homes, but it soon became more personal.
“I had five men aggressively banging the front door,” he said in a Facebook post in mid-March. “One threatened to kill me if I paint my house rainbow and calling me homophobic things.
“[One] guy introduced himself as the homeowner from across the road. [He] told me his reason for being at my house was to tell me not to paint my house rainbow.”
He alleges the man said, “See what happens if you do.”
O’Halloran, who had moved to the island for some peace and quiet, says he was deeply shaken by the incident, which he reported to the police.
Cops later arrested a 23-year-old man, who was charged with making threats to kill and unlawful assault. O’Halloran told local press at the time that he refused to be intimidated and was going to proceed with his plan to paint his house as he liked.
After local press reported on the intimidation, not only did paint company Dulux provide O’Halloran with 42 litres of paint in every color of the rainbow, but he began receiving offers of help to paint his home.
He planned for the painting to take place last Sunday. He was bowled over when over 100 people showed up to help, making quick work of the task.
“It was amazing. People came by, left, then came back. Some people just came up to show their support and give me a hug. We had a whole team of kids involved, there was a BBQ,” he said.
“It was a whole day of community coming together as one.”
“I’m so overwhelmed with joy of how much support and love there is in this community,” he told Project TV,
Related: Woman Stands Up To Homophobic Neighbor… With 10,000 Rainbow Christmas Lights
In a lengthy Facebook post, O’Halloran said that day had been amazing.
“After a hurricane, comes a rainbow 🌈 so much community support and love from everyone that stopped by to say hello today or picked up a paintbrush and helped make my rainbow house a reality.
“I appreciate every positive message I’ve received in the past month or the words of encouragement to be myself, words of love and appreciation of standing up and not allowing bad behaviour in this day in age, and today we are taking a stand against bullying & homophobia and that goes for all LGBTIQA+ phobia.
“My house being painted rainbow was never to represent my sexuality.. just an assumption that it was so. I’m a gay man and I’m open and I’m proud to be, I express colourfully naturally as my job is a rainbow hair artist and I’m creative, but what happened today was people standing by my decision to have a rainbow house regardless of opposing opinions or the minority of homophobic opinions. The message we must take out of this situation and learn from this is to stand your ground, don’t let bullies tell you how you should be living your life.”
He continued, “Imagine how beige my house would be if I let other people influence my life decisions. Imagine how natural my hair would be if I allowed opinions to turn into my life experience. Not in this lifetime!”
Following the success of the weekend, O’Halloran has launched a GoFundMe to help launch the first Pride festival on Phillip Island next year.