Whether he was playing cute kids -- in Secret Admirer (1985), Silver Bullet (1985), Lucas (1986) and The Lost Boys (1987) -- or horny teenagers -- in License to Drive (1988), Dream a Little Dream (1989), and Fast Getaway (1991) -- Hollywood censorship decreed that his characters could not be gay. Yet he often played them as gay anyway -- subtly, cautiously, with a leer at a passing hunk or an intensely emotional buddy-bonding moment that stood out like a beacon in the midst of the "fade-out kiss" plotlines, telling gay kids "You're not alone. You're ok."
During the 1990s, fame -- and his draconian workload -- hit him hard. Like Tommy Kirk 30 years before, Corey abused drugs and alcohol; his teen idol dreaminess vanished, and he became haggard, craggy, and tattooed. His movie roles grew sleazy and sinister. He died of pneumonia in 2010.
To the end, Corey was welcoming and gracious to his fans, both gay and straight.