Dulux Australia donated 40 liters of paint to help him paint the house in rainbow colors while neighbors volunteered to paint the home.
Trigger warning: This story contains themes of homophobia that some readers may find distressing
Mykey O’Halloran, a gay man, had plans to paint his home in Australia’s Phillip Island in rainbow colors. Before he could get started on the colorful makeover, a few of his neighbors came over to threaten him over it. The homophobic neighbors couldn't so much as stand a house being painted in rainbow colors that they threatened to kill him. The incident happened in February. “I had five men aggressively banging the front door,” he told QNews. “One threatened to kill me if I paint my house rainbow and [was] 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.” They also threatened him. “See what happens if you do.” O’Halloran was left shaken and added that he felt "invaded, violated [and] threatened in my very own home.”
After a complaint was filed, the cops charged a 23-year-old man with unlawful assault and making threats to kill. O’Halloran's neighbors and members of the community wanted to let him know he was welcome, and welcome to paint his house in rainbow colors as well. Less than four weeks later, a campaign started by the community saw hundreds of people raise money to help O’Halloran paint his home in rainbow colors. Some of them volunteered to help after traveling from as far away as Melbourne.
"Thank you to those that came by. After a hurricane, comes a rainbow. So much community support and love from everyone that stopped by to say hello yesterday 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 behavior in this day in age, and yesterday we took a stand against bullying and homophobia and that goes for all LGBTIQA+ phobia," wrote O’Halloran.
Dulux Australia donated 40 liters of paint with a team of volunteers painting his house in rainbow colors in April. O’Halloran said he used the opportunity to raise awareness on homophobia. "It’s time to celebrate diversity and inclusion! We are raising awareness against homophobic harassment, and against any form of bullying. It’s totally okay to be yourself in this world, everyone has the right to be who they are, and have freedom of expression," he posted.
"It’s not okay, it’s not acceptable and especially in this day in age." He added that he didn't intend to paint his home because he was gay. "My house being painted rainbow was never to represent my sexuality.. just an assumption that it was so. Yes, I’m a gay man and I’m open and I’m proud to be, I express colorfully 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," he added. One neighbor donated a new surveillance system of eight security cameras.