Coming Clean

Performed by Ben Strothmann As a boy, Ben knew he was gay when he had his first crush on a cartoon character. Through this tale of embarrassing childhood memories, hilarious misunderstandings, and bittersweet brushes with fate, Ben shares his journey of self-discovery, and how he learned to love himself exactly as he is.

Coming Clean traces Strothmann's often comical and compelling journey from growing up gay in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to learning to love himself as a gay man in Manhattan. As a kid, he says he discovered he was gay when he started developing crushes on cartoon characters, like Foghorn Leghorn and the Pink Panther. And then there's the time when Strothmann openly declared his love for another boy ... in first grade.  As a grownup, he candidly recalls his adult adventures as New York became his “sexual playground”.

He first previewed this 85-minute show in 2014 to a packed house at Judson Memorial Church as part of their “Magic Time” series.  In 2017 the show was presented at Dixon Place as part of the theater's HOT! Festival - The NYC Celebration of Queer Culture.


Ben Strothmann, who moved to New York in 2000, is no stranger to the stage or the spotlight. As Honey LaBronx, he hosts a cooking show as The Vegan Drag Queen, as well as the podcast Big Fat Vegan Radio. He has been a portrait and theatrical photographer since 1995 (Playbill Broadway Yearbook, Strothmann also has performed at Joe's Pub and Birdland, sharing the bill with the likes of Broadway pros Cheyenne Jackson and John Tartaglia, and he is a proud activist for LGBTQIA+ equality and Animal Rights.

Mark Finley is the artistic director of TOSOS and has directed many of its acclaimed and award-winning productions including Doric Wilson’s A Perfect Relationship and Street Theater. He made his Off-Broadway directorial debut with Chris Weikel’s Penny Penniworth. Recently he has directed Robbie Robertson’s Satan In High Heels at Dixon Place, Byron Loyd’s DixieBoy Fireworks for the United Solo Arts Festival, and Virginia Baeta’s Damaged Goods. Mark is also an author, an actor and a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Upcoming Shows