It does feel like a losing battle, and I don't think it's a battle we should be involved in at all:
For one, we shouldn't stumble over ourselves to win people over or change their minds, whether newbies or outsiders - If someone has a preconceived notion of us that we're snobs/elitists/ageplayers or what have you, they might not necessarily change their view if we explained ourselves to them. And in that case, why bother at all?
Lolita is alternative fashion after all, it's self indulgent but at the same time it does challenge society, even on a small scale. People aren't supposed to understand us in the first place, this fashion is not for them and we don't need anyone's validation or approval. People who "get" us, or are at least willing to understand us better, are generally open minded and don't need to be "convinced" of anything; those who aren't, are not worth dealing with.
Second, we shouldn't be putting our comms in danger to put up a front of "acceptance" and "inclusiveness". We should not be compromising our safety or the integrity of our subculture so people don't call us bullies, and this goes for both people who wear garbage, call it lolita and refuse to be corrected, and for those who hide under the trans label when in actuality they want our company so they can jack off on us.
That doesn't mean we have to be mean to everyone, but the stigma around "gatekeeping" isn't justified and I genuinely think we should reject it altogether and stop being afraid to stand up for ourselves.