16 members of the cast gathered on Zoom to talk about their favorite memories of Naya on the 10-year anniversary of her character Santana Lopez coming out as a lesbian on network TV. The reunion was part of the 2021 GLAAD Media Awards, which aired on Thursday (April 8).
Demi Lovato, who played Santana’s girlfriend Dani on Glee, opened the tribute. She said, “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. Her ambition and accomplishments inspired Latina women all over the world.”
The cast members who then participated in the reunion included Jacob Artist, Chris Colfer, Darren Criss, Jessalyn Gilsig, Dot-Marie Jones, Vanessa Lengies, Jane Lynch, Kevin McHale, Heather Morris, Matthew Morrison, Alex Newell, Lauren Potter, Amber Riley, Harry Shum Jr., Becca Tobin, and Jenna Ushkowitz. Notably absent were Lea Michele and Dianna Agron.
The reunion ended with Jessalyn reading a note written by Naya‘s mom.
Click inside to watch the video and to read the note…
She said, “When Naya was told that Santana would be a lesbian, she called me to let me know and I asked her how did she feel about that and she said, ‘I feel great about it.’ Little did we know that she would impact so many people in the LGBTQ community,” read the statement. “Her desire was to always be an advocate to those who did not have a voice. I don’t believe that she realized how important she was to this world. I am grateful that my eldest daughter helped to change the landscape of how we view and see each other.”
Naya has a posthumous role that will premiere soon. Learn about it now!
You can watch the full video below.