In his first swing at activism in Richmond, Jon Klein organized a gay softball team — no easy task in the homophobic climate of 1985.
“There were people who did not want to play on the team because they were afraid of being gay-bashed,” he recalled. “I put the team through a nonviolence training because I was sure we were going to run into some harassment and homophobia.”
The threat of bashing was not entirely metaphorical. “One year, 1986, there were guys from the opposing team who came running at us with baseball bats” before their wives and girlfriends intervened, Klein said.
You can see an old interview with Klein in the video below from Network Q Out Across America, a public access LGBTQ news show which aired in the mid 90′s.