Tuesday, January 6, 2009

WYSIWYG and Confidence

"WYSIWYG" is an acronym for "What You See Is What You Get." I was sharing this with a buddy via email yesterday when we were exchanging thoughts about self-confidence.

So what you see in this picture is what you get, or would have gotten (or seen) if you trailed me around on Sunday when I was going about activities in the community. I went to one elderly man's home to replace a hallway lighting fixture so that it can accommodate a much brighter bulb, so he can see better. I went to another elderly woman's to replace a hinge on a door that had broken and was preventing the door from closing. I went to a third home to install a grab-bar in the bathtub/shower, so the woman could be safer as she entered and exited to bathe.

And I was wearing Wesco harness boots and a leather shirt. Why? Comfort. Preference. That's it. (I wore the jeans over the boots. Wearing jeans inside my boots while visiting older folks' homes to do repairs is a bit "much." I also didn't don the Muir Cap. Even this Bootman/Leatherman knows his limits.)

My friend with whom I have been exchanging email further said this: Although the journey of self-discovery never ends, perhaps our confidence in ourselves grows as we age to the point where we care little about attempting to be something that we're not.

He was referencing how he is feeling about mingling with other gay men, and feeling more confident in coming out as a gay man. I understand that, and appreciate his insights. You know, it's interesting, but another confident, masculine gay man from the same state has characterized himself as "WYSIWYG" -- and he is wonderful to behold. Truthfully, to me, the "what-you-see" stuff is related to outward appearance of self-confidence. (Perhaps boots improve that? I'm not sure, but many feel that a man wearing boots exudes a confident appearance.)

For me, I give a huge tribute to my parents, who encouraged me to be a confident person, starting back in grade school where I was narrator in the second-grade play, in junior high school when I gave a speech to our state's General Assembly about an issue about which my peers and I were concerned, and in high school when I ran -- and lost -- then ran again the next year to win a student government position. Same is true through college where I ran and won positions on various student organizations. Continuing to this day, where I serve in various public service positions.

It all comes down to self-confidence. I was a confident guy long before I knew what "gay" meant. I thank my parents and my siblings for instilling that in me. (Guess it's one good thing about being among the youngest in the family -- you have to learn how to stand up for yourself!)

I no longer give a darn about what other people may think about my physique or looks. All that is outside stuff. I am who I am. My parents, family, and true friends taught me that what's on the inside is what counts most. Further, I see being confident and being gay as independent things, and I am both.

My inside is confident. My outside, is, well: WYSIWYG!

1 comment:

Eugene said...


I had a slightly different take on the issue. I termed this age of being comfortable with oneself "disinnocence".