I'm still trying to understand what people mean by the term "anime," since I've heard anime creators say that anime is inclusive because the characters featured are often of indeterminate background. It's not the first time I've heard people say blanket statements by people who work in the industry they're commenting on not quite meshing with others' interpretations.
I watched early dubs of Galaxy Express 999
and Battleship Yamato
(the latter will always be Battle of the Planets and Starblazers to me), but it wasn't until I was in my teens that fan subs were first making their way to conventions and BEGINNING to get serious attention. Back then I pronounced it "æ-naim", knew that it meant Japanese animation, and I thought Akira was the coolest thing I'd ever seen. Over the years I began to realize things like Akira the works of Miyazaki were the rare exception, and I felt alienated by the ultra-detailed fan knowledge that didn't seem to be following anything that appealed at all to me.
I think part of the problem is that there is such a specialized knowledge that goes into this sort of hobby, people forget to bring the rest of those who might find something to like along for the ride. I liked this stuff back then, I followed it, and now, coming back to it when this site launched, I realized I was left way
behind. You want people to take anime more seriously and stop stereotyping it? Begin some outreach for old stragglers like me. Otherwise you're always going to have these sorts of problems.