Between now and the election, I’m going to post one reason each day explaining why I’m a Democrat. I was raised in a conservative, Republican family, and my parents and sister remain conservative Republicans.

But my experience as a gay man from a (barely) working class family who is now an academic has given me a very different perspective on things than my family. Since they’re always posting Republican and Christian items on Facebook, I thought I’d start posting liberal Democratic perspectives too.

In this vein, I posted my first reason for being a Democrat this morning:

Reason #1 why I’m a Democrat: Just when Ronald Reagan tried to reclassify ketchup and relish as vegetables, I ate a healthy, free lunch every day through the National School Lunch Program. While President Obama continues to fight for this program, Gov. Romney is proposing a nearly $100 billion cut to it.

The first response was from my partner’s mother, who wrote:

Some of out here are helping to feed those kids and we know who & what kind of parents they have. Work to get their butts in the work force and not giving them free hand outs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As PJ noted, she was basically calling my parents lazy bums who were living off the government dole. Several of my friends chimed in, mostly in support of my position. Ironically, my mother and PJ’s mother ended up agreeing with one another — they think we should cut these programs because too many people just want a free hand out. It was a fascinating exchange that developed into a debate in which our friends challenged our mothers’ points of views. I hope my future reasons garner as much attention!