It's too far to commute every day from NYC, but close enough to take the train in for the weekend. East Haven is nicer than West Haven, and there are plenty of neighboring suburbs away from New Haven. I wouldn't say the area is gay friendly, but it's not gay unfriendly. Visit the area before you make up your mind about the job.
Sound advice from R5. If you move another town out from the East/West Havens - like Branford or Orange things get better. Branford did a really nice job revitalizing their center. Most towns along the shore have train access to the City.