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After Dark's 30th Annual AIDS Benefit: One Million Voices Strong

After Dark's 30th Annual AIDS Benefit: One Million Voices Strong

After Dark's 30th Annual AIDS Benefit

We can fully eradicate the spread of HIV within this generation. Health departments across the country say it’s possible. We know that’s a hefty claim to make, but there is science to back that claim. It's about time that we are able to say that there's light at the end of the tunnel, as the AIDS epidemic is 38 years old this year. Through the raising of funds for HIV and AIDS education, prevention, and awareness, we can say that we not only helped educate our community on how to prevent the spread of HIV, but we can also fight the stigma attached to it.

On Saturday, March 23rd 2019, Babylon/After Dark will commemorate our 30th Annual AIDS Benefit. The staff and friends of Babylon/After Dark have generously hosted this event for the past 30 years. This year the benefit will take place in the Tiger Room with entry accessible through the Babylon/After Dark dance floor.

Tickets are $5 and are available at the door. If you want to purchase tickets in advance, there's a link available.

More than $970,000 has been raised by our benefits for AIDS awareness over the past 29 years, and all money has stayed in the Fort Wayne area. As this is our 30th year providing funds for AIDS and HIV awareness and education in Northeast Indiana, we want to make this an historical effort. We know that it will take a lot of support to obtain this year’s goal of $30,000.

We are setting the goal at $30,000 for two reasons. Firstly, it's $1,000 per year we have been hosting this benefit. Secondly, and most importantly, we are hoping to hit the $1,000,000 mark for the funds raised at After Dark for AIDS and HIV awareness. Every dollar speaks for the person who generously donated. We are One Million Voices Strong!

We are, once again, partnering with the Positive Resource Connection to raise money for their programs. The Positive Resource Connection has served those living with HIV and AIDS in Northeast Indiana for decades.

What are we looking for? Well, we need donations for door prizes, raffles, auction items, as well as monetary donations. We will also have a hospitality table where we will be happy to place your business cards and informational/promotional literature.

All donated items can be picked up at your convenience prior to the March 15th deadline, should you not be able to send or deliver them. Monetary contributions can be by check payable to “Positive Resource Connection.” All checks will be given to the Positive Resource Connection on Monday, March 25, 2019.

There are a lot of things that are new this year, including our twist on a silent auction and a champagne social hour. There will also be raffles to win some donated high-ticket items and a live action being run by the two funniest ‘gurls’ around!

Also new this year is a special Auction Preview Party the day before the benefit, where you can enjoy the cash bar and complimentary light refreshments in addition to having the opportunity to put in advance bids on the items for the next day as well as bid on Auction Preview Party exclusive items! Tickets will be available for this preview on March 1st and are very limited.

The benefit will feature light appetizers, a live auction, lots of surprises, as well as drag entertainment and fun. We will still do what we do best by entertaining the crowd with our talented entertainers. You, your friends, and your co-workers will be amazed by the variety that this show is sure to provide!

We thank you in advance for your generosity. Please know that any donation, whether monetary or otherwise, will impact our community directly. Your help is greatly appreciated!


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Diversity Library on the move once more

This article was published in the April 14th, 2018 edition of the Journal Gazette.:

Scott Mertz, director of the Northeast Indiana Diversity Library, packs up the collection housed in the basement of the Helmke Library after the library was asked to either deed its collection to Purdue Fort Wayne or leave. 

Diversity Library on the move once more

The Journal Gazette


The Northeast Indiana Diversity Library is looking for a new home.

Scott Mertz, the library's director, said that's OK. The clearinghouse for books, videos, newsletters and other information about LGBTQ history and issues in Indiana has lived a nomadic life, he said, and the next move is another step in its journey.

But the next stop for the library isn't clear.

“We're probably going to have to go into storage, but we're looking for a home,” Mertz said this week. “This is the sixth time I've moved this library.”

The library opened eight years ago at IPFW and since 2011 has used a 950-square-foot space in the basement of the university's Helmke Library. The volunteer organization has been run separately from the IPFW library as a resource for students and others to learn more about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues as well as a place for friends to talk and groups to meet.

Mertz said university officials, citing IPFW's July 1 transition to Purdue University Fort Wayne, recently asked the diversity library to consider moving. Either that, he said, or deed the nearly 7,000-piece collection to the university.

Both options were considered, Mertz said, but volunteers opted to move from its free space rather than give up control to an entity they were not sure would keep the library or run it properly.

“We were like, 'We're not quite ready to just give you our library,'” he said. “We still are at the point where we feel we need to keep our history and not give it to them.”

An IPFW spokeswoman said the basement space “has experienced serious flooding recently,” and taking over the library's collection was a way to save it.

“Because the university doesn't own the NIDL collection, we can't invest resources to move and house it in a better environment,” Nicole Hahn said in an email. “The university offered to take the collection and use funds from the collection management budget to move and preserve the collection, and make it accessible.

“Unfortunately, that was not a viable option for the NIDL.”

Hahn did not respond to a question about how the transition to Purdue University Fort Wayne might have been tied to the request to the diversity library.

The diversity library stopped circulating materials March 31, and volunteers are packing items to be moved by May 31.

The diversity library began life as two shelves of books at the Open Door Chapel on Leith Street in 1978, according to the library's website. Four years later, the Gay and Lesbian Task Force partnered with the chapel to create a community center on West Jefferson Center.

After at least one move, the center filed for nonprofit status. Mertz began working with the library in 1997.

Those who have used the library say its collection of books and other items detailing topics ranging from religion to legal options for gay couples is valuable.

Open space to talk or hold meetings is also valuable, they said.

Veronica West, a transgender woman from Silver Lake who attended meetings at the library, said she felt welcome there.

She said the library houses a unique history not housed in other places.

“The library is a resource for everyone,” she said. “Every time we lose a library, we lose. This library's special.”

Nikki Fultz, director of Fort Wayne Pride, agrees.

“It is very unfortunate that the Northeast Indiana Diversity Library is losing its space at the Helmke Library, but I definitely understand why they are leaving,” she said in an email. “The resources housed through NIDL are a very important part of the LGBTQ community and our history.

“I really hope that NIDL can find a new home, but until then our area has lost a great resource not only for LGBTQ folks, but our community in general.”

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A New Building Fund Drive

nidl logo

The Northeast Indiana Diversity Library (NIDL) houses the oldest LGBTQ collection in Indiana.  Over 7,300 items are in the NIDL circulating collection of books and video tapes.  Our archives hold local and regional LGBTQ history that ranges from articles and newsletters to pictures, t-shirts, buttons and more.  The archives are precious history that would otherwise be discarded or hidden from view if it were not carefully kept and preserved in this library.   In 2010 the Fort Wayne Community Educational Center Inc. voted to concentrate on becoming a library and adopted the Northeast Indiana Diversity Library as its mission.

 Library Mission Statement:

 The mission of the Northeast Indiana Diversity Library is to serve the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender community and its allies in the Fort Wayne and the surrounding area by acquiring, preserving and providing access to materials that embody the culture and history of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons, with a focus on items of local or regional interest whenever possible. Through sound management of resources our hopes are that the collection will contain the knowledge to dispel homophobia, encourage the exploration of diversity and promote personal discovery. 

Our plans for the funds we raise include the following:

1.       Purchase a building of 2000 to 3000 square feet
2.       Do any necessary remodeling/updating so building will fit the       
           established plan
3.      Continue to expand the collection
4.      Continue digitization program to preserve archive materials.

 Ideally, finding a building in the 2000 to 3000 sq. ft. range will not only allow us to more effectively display our collection, but also offer meeting space, as possible, to outside groups for their meetings, as well as giving us the opportunity to grow to meet our long range goals.

Contribute through our GoFundMe campaign. Click here!

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NIDL Privacy Policy

This privacy policy has been compiled to better serve those who are concerned with how their 'Personally Identifiable Information' (PII) is being used online. PII, as described in US privacy law and information security, is information that can be used on its own or with other information to identify, contact, or locate a single person, or to identify an individual in context. Please read our privacy policy carefully to get a clear understanding of how we collect, use, protect or otherwise handle your Personally Identifiable Information in accordance with our website.

What personal information do we collect from the people that visit our blog, website or app?

When ordering or registering on our site, as appropriate, you may be asked to enter your name, email address or other details to help you with your experience.

When do we collect information?

We collect information from you when you register on our site, subscribe to a newsletter or enter information on our site.

How do we use your information?

We may use the information we collect from you when you register, make a purchase, sign up for our newsletter, respond to a survey or marketing communication, surf the website, or use certain other site features in the following ways:

       To personalize your experience and to allow us to deliver the type of content and product offerings in which you are most interested.
       To send periodic emails regarding your order or other products and services.

How do we protect your information?

Our website is scanned on a regular basis for security holes and known vulnerabilities in order to make your visit to our site as safe as possible.

We use regular Malware Scanning.

We do not use an SSL certificate
       We only provide articles and information. We never ask for personal or private information like names, email addresses, or credit card numbers.

Do we use 'cookies'?

Yes. Cookies are small files that a site or its service provider transfers to your computer's hard drive through your Web browser (if you allow) that enables the site's or service provider's systems to recognize your browser and capture and remember certain information. For instance, we use cookies to help us remember and process the items in your shopping cart. They are also used to help us understand your preferences based on previous or current site activity, which enables us to provide you with improved services. We also use cookies to help us compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interaction so that we can offer better site experiences and tools in the future.

We use cookies to:
       Understand and save user's preferences for future visits.

You can choose to have your computer warn you each time a cookie is being sent, or you can choose to turn off all cookies. You do this through your browser settings. Since browser is a little different, look at your browser's Help Menu to learn the correct way to modify your cookies.

If you turn cookies off, Some of the features that make your site experience more efficient may not function properly.It won't affect the user's experience that make your site experience more efficient and may not function properly.

Third-party disclosure

We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your Personally Identifiable Information.

Third-party links

Occasionally, at our discretion, we may include or offer third-party products or services on our website. These third-party sites have separate and independent privacy policies. We therefore have no responsibility or liability for the content and activities of these linked sites. Nonetheless, we seek to protect the integrity of our site and welcome any feedback about these sites.


Google's advertising requirements can be summed up by Google's Advertising Principles. They are put in place to provide a positive experience for users. 

We use Google AdSense Advertising on our website.

Google, as a third-party vendor, uses cookies to serve ads on our site. Google's use of the DART cookie enables it to serve ads to our users based on previous visits to our site and other sites on the Internet. Users may opt-out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the Google Ad and Content Network privacy policy.

We have implemented the following:
       Remarketing with Google AdSense

We, along with third-party vendors such as Google use first-party cookies (such as the Google Analytics cookies) and third-party cookies (such as the DoubleClick cookie) or other third-party identifiers together to compile data regarding user interactions with ad impressions and other ad service functions as they relate to our website.

Opting out:
Users can set preferences for how Google advertises to you using the Google Ad Settings page. Alternatively, you can opt out by visiting the Network Advertising Initiative Opt Out page or by using the Google Analytics Opt Out Browser add on.

California Online Privacy Protection Act

CalOPPA is the first state law in the nation to require commercial websites and online services to post a privacy policy. The law's reach stretches well beyond California to require any person or company in the United States (and conceivably the world) that operates websites collecting Personally Identifiable Information from California consumers to post a conspicuous privacy policy on its website stating exactly the information being collected and those individuals or companies with whom it is being shared. - See more at:

According to CalOPPA, we agree to the following:
Users can visit our site anonymously.
Once this privacy policy is created, we will add a link to it on our home page or as a minimum, on the first significant page after entering our website.
Our Privacy Policy link includes the word 'Privacy' and can easily be found on the page specified above.

You will be notified of any Privacy Policy changes:
       On our Privacy Policy Page
Can change your personal information:
       By logging in to your account

How does our site handle Do Not Track signals?
We honor Do Not Track signals and Do Not Track, plant cookies, or use advertising when a Do Not Track (DNT) browser mechanism is in place.

Does our site allow third-party behavioral tracking?
It's also important to note that we do not allow third-party behavioral tracking

COPPA (Children Online Privacy Protection Act)

When it comes to the collection of personal information from children under the age of 13 years old, the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) puts parents in control. The Federal Trade Commission, United States' consumer protection agency, enforces the COPPA Rule, which spells out what operators of websites and online services must do to protect children's privacy and safety online.

We do not specifically market to children under the age of 13 years old.
Do we let third-parties, including ad networks or plug-ins collect PII from children under 13?

Fair Information Practices

The Fair Information Practices Principles form the backbone of privacy law in the United States and the concepts they include have played a significant role in the development of data protection laws around the globe. Understanding the Fair Information Practice Principles and how they should be implemented is critical to comply with the various privacy laws that protect personal information.

In order to be in line with Fair Information Practices we will take the following responsive action, should a data breach occur:
We will notify you via email
       Within 7 business days

We also agree to the Individual Redress Principle which requires that individuals have the right to legally pursue enforceable rights against data collectors and processors who fail to adhere to the law. This principle requires not only that individuals have enforceable rights against data users, but also that individuals have recourse to courts or government agencies to investigate and/or prosecute non-compliance by data processors.


The CAN-SPAM Act is a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have emails stopped from being sent to them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.

We collect your email address in order to:
       Send information, respond to inquiries, and/or other requests or questions

To be in accordance with CANSPAM, we agree to the following:
       Not use false or misleading subjects or email addresses.
       Identify the message as an advertisement in some reasonable way.
       Include the physical address of our business or site headquarters.
       Monitor third-party email marketing services for compliance, if one is used.
       Honor opt-out/unsubscribe requests quickly.
       Allow users to unsubscribe by using the link at the bottom of each email.

If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, you can email us at
       Follow the instructions at the bottom of each email.
and we will promptly remove you from ALL correspondence.

Contacting Us


If there are any questions regarding this privacy policy, you may contact us using the information below.
PO Box 5537

Fort Wayne, Indiana 46895

United States
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Last Edited on 2018-04-07
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