Demi Lovato Reflects On Naya Rivera's "Groundbreaking" Impact for LGBTQ+ and Latinx Fans

In light of the Glee alum's death, many of her former co-stars and close friends in Hollywood have taken to social media to express their heartache, including Demi Lovato.

By Alyssa Morin Jul 14, 2020 2:25 AMTags
Watch: Naya Rivera's Body Has Been Recovered: Details

Hollywood has lost a shining star, and the world is in mourning.

On Monday, July 13, Naya Rivera was confirmed dead by law enforcement. She was only 33 years old.

News of the Glee alum's tragic passing comes five days after she went missing while out boating with her 4-year-old son at Lake Piru in California. The actress' toddler, Josey Dorsey, was found alone on the pontoon boat Naya rented on Wednesday, July 8. The singer's son was discovered wearing a life vest and appeared "unharmed," authorities stated.

In light of the Glee alum's death, many of her former co-stars and close friends in Hollywood have taken to social media to express their heartache.

Among those celebrities has been Demi Lovato, who praised the 33-year-old actress for her incredible impact on the Latinx and LGBTQ+ community.

"RIP Naya Rivera. I'll forever cherish the opportunity to play your girlfriend on Glee," Demi began her post on Instagram.

Naya Rivera: Life in Pictures

"The character you played was groundbreaking for tons of closeted queer girls (like me at the time) and open queer girls, and your ambition and accomplishments were inspiring to Latina women all over the world," she continued.

In closing, Demi wrote, "My heart goes out to your loved ones at this time."

The 27-year-old singer starred in four episodes on the hit television series from 2013-2014.

When news broke about Naya's disappearance, Demi was one of the first to speak out. "Please pray for @nayarivera to be found safe and sound," she said on Instagram Stories at the time.

FOX Image Collection via Getty Images

Other Glee stars have paid tribute to Naya. Capt. Eric Buschow also told E! News "cast members and friends gathered for a prayer at the water's edge just before the body was found."

"How can you convey all your love and respect for someone in one post? How can you summarize a decade of friendship and laughter with words alone? If you were friends with Naya Rivera, you simply can't," Chris Colfer wrote. "Her brilliance and humor were unmatched. Her beauty and talent were otherworldly. She spoke truth to power with poise and fearlessness."

He added, "She could turn a bad day into a great day with a single remark. She inspired and uplifted people without even trying. Being close to her was both a badge of honor and a suit of armor. Naya was truly one of a kind, and she always will be. Sending all my love to her wonderful family and her beautiful son."

FOX Image Collection via Getty Images

Darren Criss shared an equally moving message.

"She was bold. She was outrageous. She was a LOT of fun. Naya made me laugh like no one else on that set," he expressed. "I always said it while we were working together and I've maintained it ever since. Her playful, wicked sense of humor never ceased to bring a smile to my face. She played by her own rules and was in a class of her own."

"I also always loved her voice, and savored every chance I got to hear her sing. I think she had more talent than we would have ever been able to see," he continued. "I was constantly moved by the degree to which she took care of her family, and how she looked out for her friends. She showed up for me on numerous occasions where she didn't have to, and I was always so grateful for her friendship then, as I certainly am now."

Watch: Naya Rivera's Disappearance: Demi Lovato & More Send Prayers

He closed, "And even as I sit here, struggling to comprehend, gutted beyond description- the very thought of her cracks me up and still brings a smile to my face. That was Naya's gift. And it's a gift that will never go away. Rest in peace you wild, hilarious, beautiful angel."

"Rest sweet, Naya. What a force you were. Love and peace to your family," Jane Lynch wrote. 

At this time, law enforcement explained that an autopsy will be conducted to confirm Naya's cause of death. Moreover, a positive identification of her remains will be made through dental records.