Deke Nihilson

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Daniel "Deke" Frontino Elash (born January 2, 1968) is an American zine editor, musician, actor, activist and historian.[1]

In 1988, he and co-editor Tom Jennings began publishing Homocore zine out of San Francisco. One of the earliest queercore zines, it followed in the wake of J.D.s and was instrumental in the expansion of the queer punk scene; its readership was international. The name "Homocore" came from the pages of J.D.s and from 1988 to 1991, seven issues were produced. Contributors included musicians and writers such as The Apostles, Steve Abbott, Donna Dresch, Larry Livermore, Daniel Nicoletta, and G. B. Jones. At the same time, Nihilson and Jennings set up Homocore shows where bands such as Fugazi, Beat Happening and MDC played, and did much to popularize the queercore scene on the west coast of the U.S. Nihilson began his own band around this time, called Comrades In Arms. One of the earliest queercore bands, they played at Homocore events and issued one cassette release.

Nihilson appears in the film The Yo-Yo Gang by G.B. Jones, released in 1992.

Nihilson was also involved with the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). On 1 September 1992, Nihilson and other IWW members called a press conference for four workers who had been fired from the gay bar "End Up". They had joined the IWW in the midst of ongoing labor disputes with the bar, prior to their dismissal. During the conference, Nihilson burned the rainbow flag, a gesture designed to refute the supposed unity the flag symbolizes for the gay community, due to class divisions.[2] The event was featured in San Francisco media such as San Francisco Bay Times, Bay Guardian and Bay Area Reporter. During the 1990s, Nihilson remained active in IWW as well as Food Not Bombs.

At present, Nihilson is a Marxist-Leninist filmmaker working in Portland Oregon.


  1. ^ Elash, Daniel Frontino (2006), Comrades In Arms: from the Deke Nihilson Archives, archived from the original on 2008-12-10, retrieved 2008-11-26 
  2. ^ Grant, Jess (February–March 1993), Love and Rage, retrieved 2008-11-25 

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