A man who recently moved to Victoria’s Phillip Island has been left shaken but defiant after neighbours allegedly hurled homophobic slurs and death threats over his plans to paint his house in rainbow colours.
Mykey O’Halloran, a professional hair artist, (pictured) moved in to the bungalow on Phillip Island in February. However on Tuesday night (March 16), he heard “aggressive banging” on his front door late that night.
Recounting the incident on Facebook, O’Halloran explained a group of five men confronted him about his plans to paint the exterior of the house in rainbow colours.
“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,” he said.
“[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 then told him, “See what happens if you do.”
O’Halloran claimed during the encounter he recorded audio of one of the men hurling homophobic slurs and intimidating threats at him.
“This was my first interaction with the neighbour since moving to the island in February,” he explained.
“I had no words and I totally I went into fight or flight mode, my heart was pounding.
“I stayed relatively calm until he said, ‘If you paint your house rainbow, I will f**kin’ kill ya.’
“A death threat, for choosing the color palette that I want to for the house.”
O’Halloran said he believes the man’s threats “go deeper” than just the rainbow colours.
The alleged homophobic attack left O’Halloran shaken, he explained, and “feeling so invaded, violated [and] threatened in my very own home.”
“I moved to Phillip Island for the peace, having the ocean down the road; a lifestyle change,” he said.
O’Halloran said he is now installing security cameras at the property as soon as he can.
“So if anything happens to the house while I’m away I’ll know about it,” he said.
“Next time if they do anything worse, it will be on camera.
“What’s unfair is that I have to think like this in my own home, based on someone else’s views in 2021.”
Mykey O’Halloran defiant after verbal assault by neighbours in Victoria
Mykey O’Halloran told the Bass Coast News he’d reported the incident on Victoria’s Phillip Island to police.
“I’m so glad the police dealt with [the report] the way they have and have taken it seriously,” he said.
“I’m not moving, and I’m not being bullied out of my own home.
“This house is going to be my pride and joy, my rainbow retreat whether he likes it or not.
“This house will be rainbow, and it will be rainbow with pride.”
Victoria Police Constable William Hodder told the Bass Coast News officers were investigating and hadn’t laid charges yet.
“There’s still further investigations to occur,” Constable Hodder said.
“We know who the [alleged offender] is but we want to make sure we have everything covered off before we lay charges.”
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