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Mykey O’Halloran, a hairdresser living in Phillip Island, Australia, was verbally abused with homophobic slurs and threats on his life by his neighbour over wishes to paint his bungalow like a rainbow. Watch O’Halloran's home makeover below:
O’Halloran moved into his bungalow back in February, and around a month later, was visited late one night by a neighbour.
His neighbour had learned of O’Halloran’s plans to paint his home the colours of the rainbow and in turn launched a verbal assault on O’Halloran, telling him: “See what happens if you [paint your house], you gay c**t.” The neighbour also called O’Halloran and ‘f**king f***t c**t’.
O’Halloran explained he did not feel comfortable speaking to the neighbour, however his neighbour refused to leave and eventually had to be dragged away by friends, according to Q News.
Following a court case, the neighbour has been fined $2,500, which he must pay to Victorian LGBTIQ health organisation Thorne Harbour Health, and was also issued a 12-month good behaviour bond by the judge.
Despite denying threatening or hurting O’Halloran when speaking to police, the neighbour later pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful assault.
Judge Marita Altman told the neighbour his actions were ‘uneducated and ignorant and breathlessly stupid’.
She added: “Gays are everywhere. They work in the court, the police force… Our community is beautifully diverse.”
The neighbour's lawyer, Rebecca Fairthorne, said his behaviour was a ‘one-off’, adding: “He can’t change the conduct of the night. But in an attempt to move forward, he has apologised to the victim.”
Speaking to the court, O’Halloran said his neighbour's actions had caused him to relive past experiences of homophobic assaults and bullying.
“I can’t relax and feel peace in my own home anymore,” explained O’Halloran, adding: “My spirit has been dampened by the incident, I’ve felt flat and depleted.”
Incredibly, after O’Halloran bravely spoke out about the horrific incident, more than 100 people showed up to help him paint his house in April.
O’Halloran has shown off the amazing results of his home’s makeover, saying: “After a hurricane, comes a rainbow.”
Q News also reported that O’Halloran had the following to say in the wake of the assault: “I’m a gay man and I’m open and I’m proud to be. I express [myself] colourfully as my job as a rainbow hair artist.
“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, whether that be someone you know, someone you don’t.”
He added: “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.”
LADbible has approached O’Halloran for comment.
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