You are absolutely a brewer and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. They were being elitist dbags, not to make you feel bad about yourself, but to make themselves feel superior. Bullies are everywhere unfortunately, but you don't need to be around them, and quite honestly, they don't deserve the privilege of your company.
I started with a Mr. Beer kit and made some of the crappiest beer on earth, but opening that first bottle when it was done was just as exciting as the last all-grain batch I brewed 13 yrs later.
This forum is the home to some of the most generous, down-to-earth and kindest people you will ever meet and you are more than welcome to be a part of it without judgment or ridicule. In fact, if you didn't immediately notice it, there is a whole forum section dedicated to extract brewing filled with people ready to answer your questions and share your experiences with.
I hope your experience doesn't tarnish your view of the hobby and just know that we are all here for you if you need any help.
Welcome to the family, cheers!