My husband, Miguel, and I were sipping lattes in a south Florida resort, feeling exhausted and exhilarated, one newborn each in our arms. Just three weeks earlier, our sons had been born via surrogate and this was our first “outing” since the boys had left the hospital.Suddenly, an older gentleman walked up to us. “Beautiful babies,” he said. “Which one of you is the dad?”“We both are,” we responded in unison. I braced for what might come next. But the man simply turned and offered a smile: “Mazel tov!” he exclaimed, “my nephew and his partner did exactly the same thing.” ADVERTISEMENT Advertisement (1 of 1): 0:02When the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in June 2015, it was seen as a historic victory, one that would finally put gay and straight couples on an equal footing. But in my experience, the real equalizer for gay couples is parenthood.According to the Williams Institute at UCLA, 10 percent of LGBTs are married, while 10 percent of same-sex male couples and 24 percent of lesbian couples are raising children. And while marriage absolutely conveys certain rights, parenthood offers a path to societal acceptance that feels both revolutionary — and a revelation.Back on our first date about six years ago, Miguel and I discovered we are both twins — and would one day like to have twins of our own. But, both being close to 40, we were part of a generation that assumed gay people couldn’t have kids. The limits of biology and stigmas of HIV and homophobia made fatherhood seem impossible.Then, as the years passed, gay parenthood suddenly became viable, as reproductive technologies intended for infertile straight couples were embraced by gay ones eager to form families of their own.Suddenly, Miguel and I had an unexpected path into mainstream society.Assimilation is not something we necessarily had desired, but it actually felt good.We decided to go the surrogacy route — a process that can take years and cost more than $100,000 even without a guaranteed result. Miguel and I aren’t rich, but we devoted our savings and energy in order to achieve our dream.The process wasn’t without its doubts. Friends and family questioned our ability to successfully parent, and I felt a homophobic subtext to their comments. “These kids are going to need a woman around them,” they’d say.Having been raised by a single mom myself, their concerns weighed on me. And yet, we progressed, and by 2016 our surrogate was pregnant.In November, two weeks before the twins were born, Miguel and I married. It was a joyous occasion, but this ceremony, surrounded by our small, supportive family network, did far less to advance LGBT equality than our new parenthood status soon would.With two children, we would be barrier breakers, forcing the world to confront our version of a family.In the small-town hospital where our twins were born, we were nervous that the nurses wouldn’t accept us as the parents, given that our twins were born to a woman neither of us was married to. But instead, they embraced us and gave us a room to share with the boys, an entitlement the hospital automatically affords heterosexual couples.At our building in the Upper East Side, I worried that we’d be judged or even shunned by my fellow residents and the doormen. Instead, my neighbors have invited the boys to play dates, while doormen constantly comment on how fast our kids are growing.I fretted most about the reaction from heterosexual dads, but even this has surprised me.Last month at a playground, Miguel and I cautiously bonded with an alpha-male dad-bro and his son. The father clearly had little experience with gay men, but he opened up as we shared our children’s recent milestones (solid foods, new teeth, a few words) and pushed them on swings. “Hope to see you again,” he said as he finished up.While most interactions have been positive, integrating as a gay parent can be exhausting and even scary. Every day, my husband and I have to “come out” as our sons’ fathers to the world — at doctors’ offices and baby stores and official government agencies that stumble (and then correct) their words when we register for a shot or a stroller or a Social Security card. But, as a result, society is being forced to treat families like mine the same as any other.I’m not saying there won’t be major struggles for us in the future. And I certainly don’t think all gay people should become parents, or even marry for that matter, to feel equal. But it has been surprising to find myself at the age of 45 — a half-black, half-Jewish, gay man — finally accepted, simply because I now have a new identity that transcends all others.I’m a dad. Nothing is more equalizing than that.