In the end, love and kindness win.
More than 100 neighbors rallied behind Mykey O’Halloran after five men reportedly hurled homophonic threats at him all because he wanted to paint his house in rainbow colors. In response to the threats, the neighbors showed up for his “House Painting Day” to help him paint his home.
O’Halloran, a professional hair artist, just moved to Phillip Island in Australia “for peace, having the ocean down the road." With a new chapter in his life unfolding, he planned to revamp the property that would match his colorful personality.
“I had five men aggressively banging the front door. One threatened to kill me if I paint my house rainbow and calling me homophobic things,” said O’Halloran, who took to social media to recount his experience. He said one of the men even told him, “If you paint your house rainbow, I will f***in’ kill ya,” which left him shaken.
He reported the incident to the authorities and at least one person was reportedly arrested and charged him with unlawful assault and threat-making.
O’Halloran was “shocked and traumatized” by the ordeal but he was defiant and wanted to continue his plans.
After posting on social media his experience, he immediately received a wave of support from his neighbors, even from people all over Victoria and as far as Melbourne, who offered to help him paint his house.
Painters and laborers offered their services, even businesses donated paint that was enough to cover the entire house.
Overwhelmed with joy of “how much love and support there is in this community,” O’Halloran also received messages of support and encouragement just to be himself, and messages of appreciation for standing up against homophobia and bullying.
O’Halloran’s “house painting day” turned out like a barbecue, with a group of kids helping out, neighbors exchanging stories as they paint the property, and others just dropped buy to show their support and gave him a hug.
O’Halloran’s rainbow house now stands proudly at Phillip Island in Victoria. In an Instagram post, he thanked the community for the outpouring of support and reflected on the lessons he learned from his experience.
“Don’t let bullies tell you how you should be living your life,” he said in his post. “Don’t let them tell you what you should be wearing, what you should be doing or how you should be doing it, who you should be as a person or how you choose to show up in the world.”
He emphasized that being true to himself is more important than pleasing people based on their opinion.
“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!”
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Thumbnail and banner images from Mykey O’Halloran’s Instagram account