Beaming with confidence and joy at wearing a fake mustache and wearing it in public (in a safe space, I wouldn't have the confidence to wear it absolutely everywhere), I ventured onto the internet to see if any other pre-T trans men had similar experiences simulating facial hair.
To my disappointment, many trans men were/are discouraging of trans men with no ability to grow facial hair who simulate facial hair.
Beards were a target, but mustaches were absolutely off-limits, because of the mustache's connotation of humor, irony, and/or gender subversion when worn by women, or when worn by female-bodied men.
Never mind that some cisgender men, unable to grow real mustaches, do wear fake mustaches.
And what's the message here, that packing, with socks or an artificial penis, is okay but attaching a fuzzy thing to your lip isn't?
When safety is a concern, it's a valid concern. But when it isn't, who the hell cares?!
And I'm tired of 'how to pass' tutorials, the ones that are geared not towards safety but just the ones with the goal of achieving an acceptable standard of masculinity in public. I admit I initially did have concerns with being authentic, frustrations and sorrow that the hair isn't real, and even if I decided to put in the fastidious effort of using my own hair to assemble a realistic-looking mustache I would know it still wasn't real.
So screw it! I will wear a substitute mustache in places I feel safe, not because I think mustache = man, but I like mustaches and I feel good wearing them. Whereas while beards look nice, I don't feel like I want to wear a beard. And I sure as hell don't want to be clean-shaven---every trans guy who wants to be clean-shaven, that's perfectly fine. But please don't heap that love of clean-shaven on those of us who like wearing mustaches. Have a nice day.