Cover Photo: A colorful illustration in blues, oranges, black, white, and brown of a young boy kicking a soccer ball while mid-leap in ballet shoes, as other little boys in soccer uniforms look on forebodingly.
Illustration by Sirin Thada for Catapult

Ballet Helped Me Reclaim My Identity as a Queer Iranian

Imagination could only take me so far. I was ready to dance—and this time my mom couldn’t say no.

They looked different, like their bodies were made of silk and elastic. I wanted to be one of them.

was my

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Theme and Variations

It was as if I, too, was in a dream—like those times I got high in my car and imagined myself up on stage, moving freely, as my true self. 

Arya Roshanian (he/him/his) is a writer based in Brooklyn. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Variety, BOMB magazine, Catapult, and Opera News. He is a graduate of University of Southern California, where he served as an editor at the Daily Trojan. He is currently writing a collection of short stories, but please don't remind him about it.