inquisitive, I am sorry about your experiences but you can have your cake and eat it. People who dress up and behave properly should be respected. The Chasam Sofer did not require the growing of a beard. The Rambam in Hilchas Yesodei Hatorah (5,11) says that a talmid chacham generates an expected behavior. If he does not live up to it, it becomes a chilul Hashem.