Dozens of dedicated fans of 'Glee' star Naya Rivera, who died earlier in July, gathered for a memorial service at the lake near Los Angeles where the actress drowned on Saturday.
The group decorated the fencing around Lake Piru's entrance with pictures of Rivera and letters paying tribute to her life and career.
Known for portraying Santana Lopez, a lesbian high-school student in the fictional musical TV series, Rivera appeared to have assisted many of the memorial's attendees in coming to terms with their sexuality and understanding different identities.
«People don't like when you say something saved your life but that you saved your own life, but Glee saved my life, Santana saved my life. I watched her struggle. I'm a preacher's kid. Can you imagine being trans as a preacher's kid?» said JP, a fan of Rivera who is also transexual.
«I come from a really conservative town and a really conservative family. And just, watching Glee and seeing her represent Santana, her sexuality, her story. It really opened my eyes to, like, all the different sexualities and things that I had been told was wrong my whole life,» said another fan, who came from Ohio to attend the service.
Rivera was buried on July 24 at a cemetery in Hollywood Hills, California, leaving behind a four-year-old son who was reportedly with her when she died.