The B train to Flatbush on Friday afternoons is quite a Jewish experience, with all the Brooklyn Jews returning home for Shabbos. I was sitting on the B on Friday, reviewing the Torah portion on my way to Shabbos by my cousins. An ultra-Orthodox man sat down next to me and we spent most of the ride learning our respective seforim (Jewish books). After a while he asked me what I was learning. When I told him "Kli Yakar," he asked me for a Dvar Torah.
This could only happen in Brooklyn!
As we began talking, he asked me who my Rav was. I told him that I went to many synagogues on the Upper West Side and didn't have one Rabbi who I considered my personal Rav. He responded with words of mussar: "You need to get a Rav, someone whom you can ask questions and with whom discuss big life issues. It'll change your life." He reminded me of the phrase in Pirkei Avot: "Make for yourself a Rabbi" (עשה לך רב). I nodded politely and smiled. We soon arrived at the Kings Highway stop, and dozens of Jews filed out of the train.
I thought about what the man said. Yes, it would be nice to have a Rav. But could I find an Orthodox Rabbi who shares my hashkafa (religious outlook) on all issues, including homosexuality? I could not have a Rav who told me to marry a woman. Nor could I have a non-Orthodox Rav who does not view the Torah as fully binding. So for now I am without a Rav. Yet paradoxically, I feel that it is especially important for gay Jews to have a Rav, someone to help them navigate the uncharted waters of homosexuality and Judaism.
I don't have an answer to this conflict. Just food for thought...