Naya Rivera and Heather Morris in Glee (2009)

Glee Actress Heather Morris Shares Emotional Video About Naya Rivera and Brittana

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It still seems surreal to me that just over a month ago, we said goodbye to Glee actress Naya Rivera, who died in a tragic accident at a lake in California. As haunting as it has been for fans, it’s been even more intense for those who knew and loved her in real life. Heather Morris, who played Naya’s love interest on Glee, spoke on Instagram about her pain and grief.

The video is just over three minutes long, and Morris’s voice is very deep with emotion nearly the entire time, and it just really brings all the sadness back. “I’ve been feeling really heavy lately,” she starts off saying. “To connect with everybody.”

Then she starts to talk about the relationship between Brittany (her character) and Santana (Rivera), how important it was to them as the actors, and that it was never lost on them what that relationship meant to a lot of us young queer kids.

“Most of you felt like it was an inspiration to become your best self. I want you to know that that was never lost on me. It was never lost on Naya,” she says in the video. “We both knew how special that was. I think she knew a little bit more than I did.”

Rivera never officially came out or anything like that, but she did make comments at times about being bisexual. Regardless of whether she was or not, Rivera was always present to support the LGBTQ community, the fandom, and giving a face to what it could look like to be an Afro-Latina lesbian.

Morris says she did come to understand the connection that had formed between the fans and the relationship later, with all the messages. “The writers also knew that, as well,” she continues. “They were basically writing for the fans.”

In this next part, Morris begins to cry and allow the emotions to spill over just a little:

“I felt a really deep need to connect to all of you right now because I just know how important our relationship was to you all. And I know a lot of you feel very lost and very far away from what happened, maybe a little bit confused. And that’s completely normal. But I felt like it owed it to you guys because I think the fans were such a huge impact on our storyline, and I want to thank you all for being such advocates and so supportive of Santana and Brittany’s relationship because without you guys it never would have existed. You guys helped create something for the writers and for Naya and I, that made an impact that will last for a lifetime and beyond that.” (via Billboard)

I can’t imagine what it must be like to mourn someone you shared such a huge part of your life with, but also to do it on a public stage because an audience expects it. Still, Morris’s words meant a lot because I am one of those people who found myself because of Santana Lopez, and Naya Rivera will always live in my heart as a key part of my queer journey.

All of what Morris said was powerful, and it was a reminder that we are all in this together, saying goodbye to this wonderful woman.

(via Billboard, image: Fox)

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Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.