A boy forced to dim his flame discovers a local beauty pageant that sets off a spark in him again. For gay men of a certain stripe who make icons of tenacious pop divas and glamorous grandes dames, it’s a tale as old as Broadway.

The self-proclaimed unicorn is now an unlikely contender in that contest, but he’s determined to win both the crown and the hearts of the town’s residents.

In “Mister Miss America,” which opened on Monday night at the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, the writer and performer Neil D’Astolfo takes us behind the scenes and into the Southern-fried confidence of Derek Tyler Taylor, a flamboyant and fast-tongued trailblazer.