Taye Diggs Channeling His Inner Homosexual ... To Play Hedwig

5/21/2015 8:09 AM PDT

Taye Diggs -- Channeling His 'Inner Homosexual' to Play Hedwig (VIDEO)


Taye Diggs dabbled in male prostitution and cross-dressing during his high school days -- OR you're about to see Taye yank a photog's chain really hard ... either way, this clip is awesome.

First, the serious part -- Taye is set to become the first African-American to play the iconic lead role in "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" on Broadway. Neil Patrick Harris, Michael C. Hall, and John Cameron Mitchell have previously played the role. 

Our camera guy saw Diggs leaving the gym in LA ... and asked how he was prepping for the role. You gotta see the story Taye spins about "ass play" and working the streets in 10th and 11th grade. Great improv ... made funnier by the photog not getting the joke.

Taye does finally cop to being excited to let out his inner "flaming homosexual."

Should be interesting ...