Pray this gay Atlantan isn’t your crazy neighbor

Add this share

Many of Atlanta’s gay in-town neighbors are thought to drive up property values with home improvements. But one has his DeKalb neighborhood seeking relief from him. Not because James Avery is a “gay progressive.” Because they think he's batshit crazy. You’ve heard about them. You may have them, knock on wood. It’s those crazyass neighbors who leave Christmas decorations up all year, post ranting homemade signs all over their yards, rail against the world and go on vendetta campaigns against neighbors who don’t even live there any more. Meet James Edward Avery (photo), who’s on a one-man mission to soil the reputation of good gay neighbors everywhere. Residents on Mason Mill Road near Emory are at their wits' end over the homeowner who fancies himself the rabble-rousing Lorax of Dr. Seuss fame, according to the AJC.

The self-described “gay, progressive Razorback,” who lives on Mason Mill Road in the shadow of Emory University, has raised the ire of his neighbors with a display of accusatory signs targeting everyone from former Vice President Dick Cheney to “Hitlery” Clinton to the retired couple who once lived across the street. The handwritten polemics are surrounded by inflatable decorations — mostly blow-ups associated with Halloween and Christmas. There’s also a black cross with stuffed reindeer hanging from it.
DeKalb’s Code Compliance Division has “numerous complaints” on file. A fed-up neighbor sent an appeal directly to DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis to say Avery’s particular brand of nutso is driving down property values and even that “people are afraid to walk past the property.” But the signs and yard rants remain. Actually, Avery has relented in the past and cleaned up code violations like nailing signs to trees and displaying signs bigger than six feet. But this time, he’s taking the attention he draws all the way to a judge. He says the county’s selective enforcement is unfairly targeting him,. He's due for his rightful day in court Nov. 27 to air his concerns and state his case. “I want to stand in front of a judge because I have freedom of speech,” Avery tells the AJC. Not much satisfaction in it for the neighbors either way, though. Even if Avery is found guilty and ordered to remove the junk, fines are the worst allowable punishment. If it goes like last time the county exerted its force on him, he could be back at it within a month. Of course, the Christmas decorations will be in season by then. Photos by Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Project Q Atlanta goes on hiatus after 14 years

On Sept. 1, 2008, Project Q Atlanta promised a hyper-local “queer media diet” for Atlanta. The site set out to bring LGBTQ news, in-depth...

Photos catch Purple Dress Run invading Midtown

After three years of pandemic-inflicted limitations, Atlanta’s gay rugby squad let loose on one of its most popular events. The Atlanta Bucks Purple Dress...

Ooo Bearracuda: Photos from Bear Pride’s Main Event

The seventh annual Atlanta Bear Pride hit the ground running on Friday with packed houses at Woofs, Heretic and Future. Turned out, they hadn’t...

Atlanta Bear Pride set to go hard and long all weekend

That low, growing growl you hear is a nation of gay bears headed for Atlanta Bear Pride this weekend. By the time they arrive,...

PHOTOS: Armorettes bring back Easter Drag Race magic

Gay Atlanta’s queens of do-good drag brought the sunshine to a cloudy afternoon on Saturday when Heretic hosted the triumphant return of Armorettes Easter...