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- Rivera accidentally drowned during a boating trip at Lake Piru, California, on July 8, 2020
- Her Glee character Santana Lopez came out as a lesbian in season 2 of Glee in 2011
- It has been heralded as a groundbreaking moment by LGBTQ youth advocates
- Lovato played Santana’s girlfriend Dani and called Rivera inspiring
- 16 Glee stars came together to honor Rivera including Matthew Morrison, Darren Criss, Heather Morris, Jane Lynch and Jenna Ushkowitz
- They recalled her best role was that of mom to son Josey, now five
It’s nine months since the tragic death of Glee star Naya Rivera in a drowning accident in Southern California.
And on Thursday night, the actress was remembered in a special tribute during the 32nd annual GLAAD Media Awards.
Sixteen Glee castmembers linked up via Zoom to remember the actress and to mark 10 years since her character Santana Lopez came out as a lesbian in the TV series.
Demi Lovato took part in a special tribute to the late Glee star Naya Rivera during the virtual 32nd annual GLAAD Media Awards as the show’s cast reunited in her honor
Demi Lovato, who had a recurring role on Glee as Santana’s girlfriend Dani, opened the special video segment, describing the loss of Rivera as ‘a particular moment of heartbreak’ in what has been ‘a tough, tough year.’
The singer and actress, who identifies as pansexual, said she would ‘always cherish’ having had the opportunity to work with Rivera.
‘The character Naya played, Santana Lopez, was groundbreaking for closeted queer girls, like I was at the time,’ Lovato explained. ‘Her ambition and accomplishments inspired Latina women all over the world.’