Well you are no endangered species. Many amateur and a very few professional players deliberately do without nails (e.g. its not because of a physical reason, such work, weak nails etc). Nobody in the first category is under any unreasonable pressure to grow nails, though they may be encouraged to grow them by tutors. Any pressure on the second category is hard to define, and it would take another thread to properly explore whether concert audiences, reviewers etc are actually biased against no-nails, such that there is so to speak an evolutionary pressure against it, or whether they are simply exercising their personal tastes.
You won't be surprised to know the question comes up countless times on this forum. Historically, the matter has cropped up enough to make it clear that over the centuries there were some players following either path. Sor vs Aguado is one signature case of this. It is also often pointed out that even a player who did not consciously grow, shape and maintain their nails, probably at least some of the time was contacting the strings with them. I would say that in my youth this was almost certainly the case, and many of my younger students go through such phases as their nails grow out in between trimmings. No, its not ideal, but one does not always have perfect control over everything a young person does!
To properly answer your question, while some players have always used nails, more or less deliberately, it became a near-universal orthodoxy under the influence of Segovia in the early 20th century. This was reinforced by those who followed his trail, especially the likes of Bream and Williams. For most of that century very few if any serious players would have done without nails by choice. More than a few fine players found a difficulty with nails as they got older was part of the reason for their retirement from performing, along with other aspects of health or simple things like a need to earn a living!
As the whole business of classical guitar has matured and moved away from the dominance of a very few titanic personalities, it has become possible for this to become a question, though I suspect that pretty much all the promising young players in conservatoires are under at least some serious persuasion to go with nails, or move over to the early music route (no-nails in lute etc playing is the standard). Though I also personally doubt that many such promising young players need any persuasion.
I am a keen nail player, encourage my students to be so too, but very much welcome the fact that the guitar world is more open to this and support the work of Rob Mackillop is supporting players who wish to or have to go no-nails.