It wasn't like the subtext was just slipping out here and there. It was as though there were two opposing forces of manliness and militant homosexuality waging a carefully thought out war in the brains of toy manufacturers and rock musicians. That's why mainstream pop culture's relationship with homosexuality feels more like rare impulse control disorders like Tourette and Alien Hand Syndromes, which cause patients to say or do the exact opposite of what they want to in a given situation (use the C word while reciting wedding vows, choke yourself while reciting wedding vows, or doing anything at all really).
Most memorable '80s movie protagonists either ranged in age from fifth to 12th grade (Elliot in E.T., Ferris), or were specifically modeled to appeal to kids in that age range (Indiana Jones, the Star Wars Universe). If parents, teachers or police officers appeared in movies, they either didn't have their shit together or were the bad guys. America's decision to focus its energies on entertaining children is usually attributed to the success of Star Wars, but I'd argue that cause and effect worked the other way. George Lucas, Stephen Spielberg, John Hughes and other filmmakers were responding to the demands of a country that suddenly wanted to be back in the fifth grade.
Just look at what happened to franchises that existed before and during the '80s. Rocky went from being a gritty franchise about a poor, retarded boxer to a live-action cartoon in which a superhero punches the entire Soviet Union in the face, and the Soviet Union thanks him for it.
Stallone considered just making Captain America, but decided that the costume wasn't gay enough.