i may well be about to open a can of worms, but here i go anyway....
i have never had any real problem with "respect" from people im working with, certainly not with being frowned upon. i dont however see respect as an automatic right either, its something that is generaly earned, if you truly bring something to an event, people will notice. go the extra distance to make your work unique, use interesting screen setups instead of sticking to the standard, try to use techniques which are obviously live or heavily reflect changes in the sound as well as audio reactivity.... try to stand out from the crowd.
having said that, a vj isnt realy the main pull for an event, ( unless of course its a vj centered one ) and the event will generaly do as well without vj's there ( although it may not look as nice ). do you feel a vj is more worthy of respect than a lighting engineer? its far more common to see a vj's name on the flyer than a lighting enginners name, but both are working with light and colours to enhance a musical performance, which suggests to me that a vj does get a certain amount of respect.
if its clubland respect you are after, then maybe you should look at taking a role which is more the centrepin of the event, such as the dj. if its respect as an artist you are after, there are probably more suitable outlets for your work than standard clubland which is inhabited by people who are there to party, not to study the merrits of visual media. if you feel it is because people simply dont understand, why not make an effort to educate people and show them just what it is you do.
essentialy though, does it matter to you what other people think or does it matter that you are doing something you love and enjoy and are doing it to the best of your ability. for me, its the latter.