Almost the entire Glee cast reunited at Thursday night’s GLAAD Media Awards to honor their friend Naya Rivera following her tragic drowning death in July. The event also marked the 10 year anniversary since Rivera’s iconic character Santana Lopez came out, bringing one of the first teen lesbian stories to television.
Demi Lovato, who played the late actress’ girlfriend on the show, introduced the group (which notably excluded Lea Michele — for good reason), sharing:
“The character Naya played, Santana Lopez, was groundbreaking for closeted queer girls like I was at the time. And her ambition and accomplishments inspire Latina women all over the world.”
During the tribute, Matthew Morrison also spoke, heartbreakingly recounting how “her best role was being a mom,” to her sweet boy Josey. And Jane Lynch recalled meeting Naya and instantly thinking, “this girl is really something.” So true!
Watch Glee’s tribute (below), where you can also hear a special message from Naya’s mother on what this recognition would have meant to her!
So nice to see them all together again, though we really wish the circumstances were different!