Glee’s Santana Lopez Transformed Television—Here’s How

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While Santana did not speak with her grandmother until the final season, when she married Brittany, this tattered relationship did not deter her from living a joyful, successful, and loving life—and that never-before-seen portrayal of lesbian Latina teen delight paved the way for wider LGBTQ Latinx representation. As both queer and Latinx representation saw a spike in the 2010s and 2020s, Latina queer characters started appearing more and more on our TV screens. Hit series like Jane the Virgin, Gentefied, One Day at a Time, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Vida, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Charmed, and The Baker and the Beauty, to name a few, include gay, lesbian, and bisexual Latinx characters. After Santana, many of these characters were also allowed to be bold and confident in their identities. Characters like Detective Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) from Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Valencia Perez (Gabrielle Ruiz) from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and Mel Vera (Melonie Diaz) and Joséfina Reyes (Mareya Salazar) in the Charmed reboot live fulfilling lives, even when their identities are criticized by their families or society.

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