See the Cast of ‘Glee’ Pay Tribute to Naya Rivera at the GLAAD Media Awards

Glee - Naya Rivera
Adam Rose / © Fox / Courtesy: Everett Collection

The GLAAD Media Awards‘s 32nd annual ceremony remembered the late Naya Rivera with a special tribute from the cast of Glee, the musical-comedy series (2009-2015) in which she starred as Santana Lopez.

Rivera tragically died earlier last year when she drowned in California’s Lake Piru.

Rivera’s character was outed as a lesbian during the series; after the shock and anger of being exposed without her consent, Santana comes to terms with her sexuality. GLAAD, an LGBTQ advocacy organization, staged the Glee mini-reunion to recognize the 10-year anniversary of Santana’s coming out on the Ryan Murphy series. Santanta also furthered Latinx LGBTQ representation on TV.

Introducing the cast members during a virtual segment was none other than Demi Lovato. As fans of Glee will recall, Lovato portrayed Santana’s girlfriend Dani in a few episodes of the show.

Michael Becker / © Fox / Courtesy: Everett Collection

“I don’t have to tell you that this year was a tough, tough year,” Lovato began her introduction. “A particular moment of heartbreak stands out for me. Losing my friend Naya Rivera. I will always cherish the chance I got to play Naya’s girlfriend Dani on Glee. The character Naya played, Santana Lopez, was groundbreaking for closeted queer girls, like I was at the time, and her ambition and accomplishments inspired Latina women all over the world.”

Demi’s intro made way for Glee‘s Jacob Artist, Chris Colfer, Darren Criss, Vanessa Lengies, Jane Lynch, Kevin McHale, Heather Morris, Matthew Morrison, Alex Newell, Amber Riley, Harry Shum Jr., Becca Tobin, and Jenna Ushkowitz, all of whom participated in the moving remembrance. Watch the full segment, below.

GLAAD Media Awards, Streaming now, Hulu