My japanese speaking but not native friend talked about a foreign friend whose name translates to "ばら" (bara - 薔薇) with some native japanese. They quickly objected that she shouldn't call that friend ばら as this means "gay" (homosexual) in japanese. I couldn't find any evidence for this and am curious now. The only thing I found is that the first gay magazine is called "barazoku" which could be shortened to "bara". Maybe becoming a synonym for gay. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barazoku
Is "ばら" an actual word with the meaning "gay"? Or is it just a common term? Or is it just common in the LGBT community and most japanese would be clueless?