dude, if the thread isn't enough, i'll tell you myself.
don't be afraid to crossplay.
your opinionated friends will seem very small once you start interacting with people who support you.
I've not known one crossplayer, except for the people trying to make a point and be disgusting about it, that i don't respect. It takes alot to do that, and most of the time, they are very self-concious people. Meaning that they are crossdressing for some other reason other than disrespect of other people. Heck, even I've had a few gay guys give me props for what I'm doing. They know that I'm straight, and most of the people around me don't have to guess.
Now, to say that it's a perfect thing would be lying to you. I mean, if there is distance between the hotel and the con, people are going to look at you funny. There are going to be 'tough-guys' at every con who laugh and jeer and try to make people feel bad. There are parents who are going to duck their kids under their overcoat and lie to them about your existance. But trust me, confidence, and that's what most crossplayers exude, always wins. Try it once if your really inclined to do it. If you can't handle it, you'll know that you've experienced it once
and btw, if you look cute enough, the chicks dig it. At least that's what motivates me