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Entertainment Inside Naya Rivera's Legacy as an LGBTQ TV Trailblazer: 'Meant So Much to So Many Queer Women'

01:41  14 july  2020
01:41  14 july  2020 Source:   people.com

Underwater Footage from Naya Rivera Search Released: She Could Be Found in '5 Minutes' or '5 Days'

  Underwater Footage from Naya Rivera Search Released: She Could Be Found in '5 Minutes' or '5 Days' "Unfortunately, they did not locate Naya Rivera. They are still searching," Ventura County Sheriff's Office Captain Eric Buschow told reporters FridayAuthorities searching for the missing Glee star released footage late Friday to show just what they are up against as they comb the lake's floor.

Naya Rivera's Glee character Santana Lopez was more than just a singing, high school cheerleader — she was an LGTBQ trailblazer.

Naya Rivera posing for a picture © Tasia Wells/Getty Naya Rivera

The star was reported missing Wednesday after a trip to Lake Peru in Ventura County, California, with her 4-year-old son Josey (whom she shares with ex-husband Ryan Dorsey). Five days later, police recovered her body from the lake. She was 33.

When news of Rivera's disappearance and death broke, fans flooded Twitter, praising her contribution to the representation of queer people on the small screen.

RELATED: Glee Star Naya Rivera Dead at 33 After Disappearing on Boating Trip with 4-Year-Old Son

Naya Rivera's 'Glee' co-star Heather Morris is offering a foot search and rescue mission for the missing actress

  Naya Rivera's 'Glee' co-star Heather Morris is offering a foot search and rescue mission for the missing actress Heather Morris and Naya Rivera's characters got married on "Glee." On Sunday, Morris offered to help authorities search for missing Rivera.According to investigators and the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, Rivera rented a boat Wednesday afternoon at Lake Piru, located in Los Padres National Forest in Ventura County, California. Rivera was with her 4-year-old son, Josey Hollis, who was found in the boat asleep and wearing a life jacket later on Wednesday.

"I'm so saddened and disturbed by the news of Naya Rivera. Naya meant so much to so many queer women my age. Her character on Glee awakened a generation repressed. Thank you, Naya," writer Jill Gutowitz tweeted on Thursday, when Rivera was presumed dead.

Rivera's Santana started as a feisty William McKinley High School mean girl, but she evolved over the six seasons as she came to terms with her sexuality. Santana came out in the 2011 episode "I Kissed a Girl" after developing feelings for best friend Brittany Pierce (Heather Morris).

Naya Rivera posing for a picture: Tasia Wells/Getty Naya Rivera © Provided by People Tasia Wells/Getty Naya Rivera

RELATED: Naya Rivera Missing After 4-Year-Old Son Found Alone in a Boat on California Lake

Naya Rivera 'Mustered Enough Energy' to Get Son on Boat but 'Not Enough to Save Herself': Police

  Naya Rivera 'Mustered Enough Energy' to Get Son on Boat but 'Not Enough to Save Herself': Police Naya Rivera's 4-year-old son Josey "told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water," Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub told reportersOn Monday, the former Glee star's body was found  five days after she went missing during a boating trip at Lake Piru in Ventura County, California, with her 4-year-old son, Josey, whom she shares with ex-husband Ryan Dorsey.

Her coming out was monumental for fans like Cole Delbyck, who said on Twitter: "Part of what feels so devastating about #NayaRivera news is that we were all waiting for her second act."

"She stole every last scene of Glee with ease due to her trademark snark — truly some of the best lines reads in TV history," he wrote.

"But she also gave us SO MUCH MORE and delivered, in my eyes, the finest performance of the series. As her character came to terms with her sexuality, Naya beautifully revealed that Santana could be vulnerable without giving up any of her power."

"Just thinking about her 'Rumor Has It/Someone Like You' performance gives me chills. While she's continued to work since then, I was always hoping to read about her booking a spot in some other Ryan Murphy project or to see her in a role that lived up to her many talents," Delbyck continued.

Demi Lovato Says She Will 'Forever Cherish' Playing Naya Rivera’s Girlfriend on Glee

  Demi Lovato Says She Will 'Forever Cherish' Playing Naya Rivera’s Girlfriend on Glee Demi Lovato appeared in the show's fifth season as Dani, who had a short-lived romantic relationship with Naya Rivera's Santana LopezThe "I Love Me" songstress, 27, is looking back on the time she spent as a guest star on Glee, sharing that she will "forever cherish" her role as Rivera's girlfriend on the hit FOX television series.

Naya Rivera wearing a dress shirt and tie: Naya Rivera as Santana Lopez © Provided by People Naya Rivera as Santana Lopez

"She was the breakout star of that show. I hope that she's somehow found and can return home. Praying for her safety and her family during this time," he concluded.

Rivera appeared on Glee from season 1 to the show's final season 6 in 2015. A source told PEOPLE that the actress was "fully dedicated to her craft."

"Anything she did, she put her all into. She always made sure to involve everybody around her. It was never just about her. It was about everybody getting experience everything that she was doing together," the source said. "She made sure everybody felt bigger than they maybe were."

Naya Rivera’s Body Was Found Shortly After Glee Costars ‘Prayed for Her’ at Lake’s Edge: Police

  Naya Rivera’s Body Was Found Shortly After Glee Costars ‘Prayed for Her’ at Lake’s Edge: Police The former Glee star was reported missing on Wednesday following an outing to Lake Piru with her young son Heather Morris and other Glee cast members were seen gathered together at Lake Piru on Monday, just hours before Rivera's body was found. "Some of her cast members from Glee came to the lake and they were allowed to come down to the water's edge, and they, as a group, they prayed for her," Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Kevin Donoghue tells PEOPLE.

The source, who was close to Rivera during her Glee days, also noted the star's activism. Rivera was a proud ally for the LGBTQ community, and in her 2016 memoir Sorry Not Sorry, she candidly shared her personal mental health journey, including overcoming an eating disorder as a teen. Throughout the years, she also opened up about embracing her identity as a Latina woman in Hollywood (she was half Puerto Rican).

"She was not selfish. She was a very strong person. I think she was ahead of her time for speaking up on certain issues. If you look back around 2011, she was on the forefront of it all. Partnering with GLAAD and doing different things with her heritage," the source said. "Most people at the start of their careers, she didn't care if she faced backlash — she just wanted to make sure she spoke out. Some people would've hidden, but she took everything head on."

In 2017, Rivera wrote a love letter to the LGBT community for Billboard, saying, "I have been so incredibly fortunate to portray a character on television that has meant so much to so many within the LGBTQ community. Off screen, I am a woman who stands in support of equal rights for all. It has been one of the great blessings in my life to receive such love and touching stories as a result of my portrayal of Santana Lopez in Glee."

Divers Found Naya Rivera's Body While 'Glee' Cast Was Praying at Lake Piru

  Divers Found Naya Rivera's Body While 'Glee' Cast Was Praying at Lake Piru Divers Found Naya Rivera's Body While 'Glee' Cast Was Praying at Lake Piru“I don’t know who is who in the cast, but there were 12 to 15 people,” Captain Eric Buschow, spokesperson for the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, told Us Weekly exclusively on Tuesday, July 14, one day after Rivera was pronounced dead at age 33. “They were down there by the edge of the lake and prayed for about a half hour. … I did not go down there and stand with them, so I don’t know what they did or said other than they had expressed a desire to go down there and have a prayer.

Just this year, in the wake of protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd, Rivera supported the Black Lives Matter movement.

"In times like these and always we must stand up and be counted. Stand up against injustice. Prejudice. Pure evil. These are photos of my grandma protesting for civil rights in the 60s. She was an advocate for civil, women's, and human rights. She is my hero," Rivera wrote alongside a newspaper clipping of her grandmother.

"This morning I meditated on her, on what we are all seeing play out in front of us today. It has been playing out for decades. We have been fighting this same fight for centuries. I am proud to come from a lineage of people who stand up for what is right. I am proud of every peaceful protestor, every person who is saying NO. I know my grandma Clara is looking down on me, on all of us and encouraging everyone to keep up the GOOD fight. The fight that gets our point across without giving anyone access to taint our mission with a false narrative of who we really are. Justice. Equality. Peace. Respect. My grandma stood up. I stand up," she added.

Aside from her activism, Rivera was a loving mother to her son.

"Her son comes first. That’s apparent in everything she’s posted and done. Everything is about her son," the source told PEOPLE.

Before her death, Rivera won several awards, including an ALMA Award for favorite TV actress — leading role in a comedy in 2012. She also won a Gold Derby Award for best comedy supporting actress in 2009. Rivera and the cast of Glee took home a SAG Award in 2010 for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series.

Naya Rivera 'Loved Being a Mom' to Son Josey, Says Source: 'She Was Very Sweet'

  Naya Rivera 'Loved Being a Mom' to Son Josey, Says Source: 'She Was Very Sweet' "You could tell she loved being a mom," a source close to Naya Rivera, who died at age 33, tells PEOPLE"You could tell she loved being a mom," a source close to Rivera, whose body was found Monday after a five-day search on Lake Piru in California, tells PEOPLE in this week's issue. "She was always so sweet.


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a close up of Tituss Burgess et al. with pink hair: Because of increased LGBTQ visibility in recent years, queer and trans actors are getting more opportunities in Hollywood.These performances can be found in a wide range of genres, from comedies like

Naya Rivera's Ex Ryan Dorsey 'Can't Imagine Raising Josey Without' Her: Source .
"It's just a nightmare. Although he wasn't with Naya, it's Josey's mom. Josey needs his mom," a source tells PEOPLE about Naya Rivera's ex-husband, Ryan Dorsey“Ryan has barely slept,” a source says in the latest issue of PEOPLE. “It’s just a nightmare. Although he wasn’t with Naya, it’s Josey’s mom. Josey needs his mom.

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