Naya Rivera “Loves” Playing One of TV’s Few Non-White LGBT Characters
For Naya Rivera (Santana), her role on Glee started out as nothing more than a snarky cheerleader. She looked hot, trash talked a bit, and that was all. Little did anyone know that Santana would turn into one of the most unique and influential characters on television.
The bratty Cheerio came out as a lesbian during Glee Season 3, and her emotional journey has given voice to a struggle that many high schoolers face, but few have seen represented on TV. During an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Naya says that she is excited (and a bit overwhelmed) to be given this important role.
"There are very few ethnic LGBT characters on television, so I am honored to represent them," Naya says. "I love supporting this cause, but it's a big responsibility, and sometimes it's a lot of pressure on me."
There’s no doubt that this role had made Naya a role model, both for young Latina girls and for young girls who might be wrestling with their sexual identity. (Or girls who are both. Or neither. Basically, she’s fabulous. And she can be a role model for anyone.)
While her character enjoys some sweet lady kisses, that doesn’t mean Naya feels the same way. "No, I've never had a relationship with a girl, contrary to what people might think," she says.
So Naya is straight, as are many Glee actors who play LGBT roles... but definitely not all of them. Because of Glee, more and more people are able to see themselves and their struggles represented on screen. And that is truly a powerful thing.