I can totally relate. When we first picked up O’Shea from the shelter and brought him home, so many in our neighborhood had that stereotypical view of pit bulls. They would see us walking toward them, and they would either a) walk on the opposite side of the street or b) turn their travel away from us. My husband was on one walk where a family (mom/dad and kids, with a stroller) was going to be approaching, but once seeing them, turned to each other, whispered to the other, and turned around/walked the other way–it was just ridiculous.
It is indeed ignorance, but keep on keeping on–fight the good fight, as it were. You have been one to see these animals for what they are–creatures in need of loving care, just like any human being. And look at what happens to humans when they aren’t given love, care, and respect they deserve? If able, obedience classes always help. Ours just graduated (still having some trouble with loose leash walking), but far exceeds all other scales when it comes to listening and obeying. The more you get out, the better, and even if you meet just one person in a day (or maybe week, sometimes) who gets to know more about pit bulls because of the love and care you decided to give, and then share with that person–the better off our world will be. 🙂