'Glee' Cast to Honor Naya Rivera, LGBTQ Teens at GLAAD Awards

Naya Rivera tribute

The cast of Glee is getting back together for a one-night reunion to honor LGBTQ+ teens at the upcoming 32nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards. The broadcast will also pay homage to the life and legacy of former cast member Naya Rivera.

In alphabetical order, cast members 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 are all slated to appear after an introduction by Demi Lovato.

In a press release earlier this month, GLAAD said the tribute to Rivera will honor the 10-year anniversary of her character, Santana Lopez, coming out on Glee. It will “spotlight the character’s impact on LGBTQ teens and Latinx LGBTQ representation on television.”

In the show, Santana Lopez, played by Rivera, was a cheerleader and Glee Club member who fell in love with fellow cheerleader and Glee Club member Brittany S. Pierce, played by Heather Morris. Their relationship was widely lauded by the queer community. The Hollywood Reporter called it "a beacon to lesbian, bisexual, and questioning fans, especially young Latinx and Black fans, many of whom were seeing themselves onscreen for the first time."

Tragically, Rivera was found dead in July 2020 after having drowned in California's Lake Piru at the age of 33.

Since then, many members of the Glee cast have spoken out to remember Rivera. The cast even notably created the Snixxmas Charity Drive around the holiday season, with contributions going towards Alexandria House, a transitional residence for women and children.

Glee, which aired on Fox from 2009 to 2015, was previously nominated six times for outstanding comedy series at the GLAAD Media Awards, winning in both 2010 and 2011. You can watch this year's broadcast on GLAAD's YouTube channel on April 8 at 8 pm ET or on Hulu.

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