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We are only people

Axel Hagström is one of the students at “Skrivande 20” (“Creative Writing Class 20”), a small group of students in year two on the upper secondary school writing programme at Film & Musikgymnasiet (The Film and Music Gymnasium) in Norrköping. He has written a poem inspired by the content of Pen/Opp's hate speech issue.

Axel Högström wished that there were more texts that shed light on the vulnerability of LGBTQ people. His poem "We are only human" is an important contribution.

Credits Text: Axel Hagström Translation: Christina Cullhed February 05 2022

The right hand keeps us down
They govern in anger
like pawns on a political playing field

We are not animals
We are only people
neither sick nor sinful

Wake up world!
Open your eyes
Listen carefully

We are not societal issues
like the environment or the economy
We are ordinary human beings
fighting fire and flames

The left hand promises
—they parade alongside us—
full freedom. When will we see it?
Stop promising things you cannot keep

Let us live in peace
Don’t try to throw us away like so much garbage
We are here to stay
You will not be rid of us

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