In the fall of 1968, four friends formed the gay carnival Krewe of Armeinius in New Orleans. Wendell Stipelcovich, Don Stratton, Jerry Loner, and Scott Morvant, chose the name Armeinius, because of its connection to Greek mythology and queer history. Costumes were designed and built in four months thanks to the group’s devoted friends.
The first Armeinius ball in 1969 was themed "Year of the Queen" - a prophetic mantle, as the Stonewall Riots and the beginning of the gay rights movement were just a few months away.
For decades the safety of the Krewe and its members depended on its secrecy and exclusivity. With the push for equality comes visibility, and in the last decade the Krewe has expanded its mission to include education and historical preservation.
The organization is committed to sharing the traditional art of gay Mardi Gras costume creation and history with others.
The social club has collected and archived its history with the State of Louisiana, which has become one of the largest gay historical archives of its sort in the country.