GLAAD Media Awards pay tribute to the late Naya Rivera

Rachel Badham April 10, 2021

GLAAD’s 32nd annual Media Awards saw a tribute to the late LGBTQ+ icon Naya Rivera, who passed away last year, with singer and actor Demi Lovato, who played Rivera’s girlfriend on hit TV show Glee, introducing the segment dedicated to her. Lovato described Rivera’s out gay character on Glee, Santana Lopez, as “groundbreaking for closeted queer girls”, adding: “It’s been 10 years since Santana Lopez came out. Look at what LGBTQ+ teens have done in a decade. Imagine what we can do in the next one.”

Naya Rivera

Rivera’s fellow Glee cast members including Chris Colfer and Jane Lynch also shared tributes to Rivera, with Lynch describing her as really something”. Rivera’s mother, Yolanda Previtire, also wrote a statement to be shared at the awards, saying: “Her desire was always to be an advocate for those who did not have a voice…Thank you GLAAD for keeping my daughter’s legacy alive.”

The GLAAD Media Awards saw a handful of other LGBTQ+ celebrities and allies come together to celebrate queer representation, with Sam Smith winning the Outstanding Music Artist award for their recent album Love Goes. Lesbian Christmas rom-com, Happiest Season, took home the award for Outstanding Film, while Schitt’s Creek was awarded Outstanding Comedy Series.

Rivera’s character on Glee, Santana Lopez