Last year, Glee star Naya Rivera tragically passed away, and we lost the actor behind one of the most important lesbian characters in television history. Now, as a part of this year's 32nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards, there will be a special tribute to late actor Naya Rivera and her Glee character Santana Lopez.
During the award show on Thursday, April 8, the cast of the groundbreaking show Glee will reunite to pay special tribute to Rivera and the impact her character Santana Lopez had on queer representation and especially queer Latinx representation. The tribute comes on the 10th anniversary of her character's coming out on the two-time GLAAD Award winning show.
The special tribute will be introduced by Demi Lovato, who played Dani, Santana's post-high school girlfriend on the series. Of course, Heather Morris, who played Brittany Pierce, Santana's girlfriend, will be there, as will original Glee cast members Chris Colfer, Jane Lynch, Kevin McHale, Matthew Morrison, Amber Riley, Harry Shum Jr., and Jenna Ushkowitz. They'll also be joined by Darren Criss, Vanessa Lengies, Becca Tobin, Alex Newell, and Jacob Artist.
While she started as a background character whose queerness was revealed in a jokey one-liner, Santana Lopez was one of the first queer Latinx characters a whole generation saw on TV. This teen lesbian gave queer Latinx teens someone who looked like them for the first time. Glee was one of the biggest shows in the country, and for a while, tens of millions of people watched Santana sing, dance, and sling insults every week. She was the millennial Rickie Vasquez.
Over the years, Santana became one of the main characters on Glee, moving from Ohio to New York with Kurt and Rachel, and eventually marrying her high school girlfriend Brittany.
The 32nd GLAAD Media Awards will be hosted by Niecy Nash and feature guests including Matt Bomer, Bob The Drag Queen, Laverne Cox, Wilson Cruz, Clea DuVall, Dan Levy, JoJo Siwa, Sam Smith, and the cast of Veneno.