Police have sadly confirmed the death of actress and singer Naya Rivera, who drowned last week during a boating trip in California with her young son.
Rivera went missing on Wednesday (July 8) after going boating with her four-year-old son at Lake Piru in California. He was found alone and asleep on the boat.
On Monday (US time), police confirmed divers had found the 33-year-old’s body after a days-long search.
Police said they were confident the body was Rivera’s based on “the location, physical characteristics, clothing, and the physical condition of the body.” They added there was no indication of foul play or that she took her own life.
Naya Rivera’s signature role was lesbian cheerleader-turned-singer Santana Lopez on Glee.
Co-star Jane Lynch wrote on Twitter, “Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were. Love and peace to your family.”
In an Instagram tribute, Glee actor Chris Colfer wrote, “Her brilliance and humor were unmatched. Her beauty and talent were otherworldly.”
just the two of us pic.twitter.com/wCunAlGJ1B
— Naya Rivera (@NayaRivera) July 7, 2020
Queer fans mourn death of Naya Rivera
Naya Rivera won the hearts of many LGBTIQ fans with her Glee role and the character’s coming out journey.
Over the past week, many people took to social media to honour Rivera and share the importance of her character to them.
“As a closeted queer kid, Santana is the only representation I remember having,” one wrote.
“Naya Rivera was so so important to me. I know I’m not alone, and I hope she knew how many people felt this way.”
In high school, I desperately grasped for anything that could help me understand who I was and what my feelings meant. Santana Lopez gave me something to hold onto, tightly. It is no exaggeration to say Naya Rivera changed my life. pic.twitter.com/H3Jg78xW0y
— whembley (@whembleysewell) July 9, 2020
this scene had an impact on me i can't even explain pic.twitter.com/0j10jUH2cC
— madsミ☆ (@cptcmrvl) July 13, 2020
Santana Lopez was the first lesbian character I had seen on tv. I had seen gay characters but not lesbian. She helped me understand who I am and accept myself. Her character and journey meant so much to me so thank you Naya Rivera you impacted my life for the better.
— ミ☆ (@sapphicbabes) July 10, 2020
seeing naya rivera as santana was so important to me, watching a lesbian character develop through storylines where we weren’t the butt of the joke, where we thrived, where we had love and respect… i owe so much of my confidence as a gay woman to glee + santana, this is so sad
— Foxgluvv (@foxgluvv) July 9, 2020
Naya Rivera as Santana Lopez was the single biggest piece of media that helped my coming out process. I’d never seen someone verbalize what I was feeling up until she did and it helped me deal with a lot of anger I had toward myself and others. She was huge for so many of us.
— Ryan (@ThatsSoRyannn) July 13, 2020
I don’t think I realized how much I benefitted from naya rivera’s portrayal of a confident queer woman in one of my favorite shows- until she was taken too soon from us. Thank you, I am who I am because of santana lopez
— Emma (@layspotaytochip) July 10, 2020
naya rivera playing santana lopez was the reason i was able to come out of the closet & be who i am. she made me realize being gay is ok & there’s nothing wrong with it. naya was happy to play santana, bc she knew she’d be able to help people like me as santana. she changed me 🙁 pic.twitter.com/RjwD6Zj05m
— m (@gonilovebot) July 9, 2020
naya rivera literally saved my life. she saved countless lives with the beloved character she played. we will never be able to repay her for what she did for the lgbtq community. naya is the definition of a true ally and for that i’ll always be immensely grateful.
— ellie ミ☆ (@agronroberts) July 10, 2020
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