When Mykey O’Halloran, moved to a bungalow on Australia’s Phillip Island in February he knew he wanted to give the house a makeover, featuring his signature colors: rainbow.
But when word got out that the “rainbow hair artist” of Unicorn Manes by Mykey planned to paint his house muliti-colored hues, some of his new neighbors made their dissatisfaction known.
“I had five men aggressively banging the front door,” he told QNews in March. “One threatened to kill me if I paint my house rainbow.”
“[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.”
The man then issued a warning: “See what happens if you do.”
O’Halloran managed to record the threatening encounter and local police charged a 23-year-old man with unlawful assault and making threats to kill.
Once the news broke, the local community, and Australians from as far away as Melbourne (over 2 hours away), came together to stand up to homophobia and make it clear that that the gay man, his flamboyant hairstyle, and his love of rainbows were welcome on Phillip Island.
More than a hundred people pitched in to help O’Halloran paint his house. Australia’s largest paint supplier Dulux donated the paint, and over one weekend the army of volunteers painted every inch of his bungalow in bright rainbow colors.
“After a hurricane, comes a rainbow,” O’Halloran posted on Instagram “So much community support and love from everyone that stopped by to say hello today or picked up a paint brush and helped make my rainbow house a reality.”
“I appreciate every positive message I’ve received in the past month, the words of encouragement to be myself, words of love and appreciation of standing up and not allowing bad behavior... And today we are taking a stand against bullying & homophobia and that goes for all LGBTIQA+ phobia. It’s not okay, it’s not acceptable and especially in this day in age."