Fans Of Queer Latina Romance Rejoice: Demi Lovato Joining Glee As Santana’s Girlfriend!

The Fall TV schedule is coming up in a few short weeks, and that means the return of the show so many of us continue to get roped into every week despite the fact that it always lets us down and spits in our faces. Of course I’m talking about Glee. Earlier this month, Glee announced that Demi Lovato was going to be a guest star for several episodes of its upcoming fifth season this fall. Recently Glee star Naya Rivera made that news a million times better and a billion times gayer when she told MTV that Lovato would be playing Santana Lopez’s love interest on the show.



TV Line says that Lovato’s character will be named Dani and will be a struggling musician living in New York. The character is a friend of Rachel and Santana’s and she’ll also be in several episodes with Adam Lambert, who will also be playing another New York based character. The addition of more characters to the New York setting where Santana, Rachel and Kurt already live alongside an ensemble of others at NYADA and Vogue seems to indicate the possibility that the show will spend more and more time away from Lima. Lovato will be appearing in at least six episodes, with the first being the second episode of Glee’s Beatles’ tribute on October 3.

Lovato is currently a judge on the Fox show X Factor and also has a successful singing career. However, she first become a star while acting on the Disney Channel. Her role on Glee will be the first time she has acted since she left her Disney Channel show Sonny With a Chance in early 2011. At that time she put her acting career on hiatus due to her struggles with addiction, self-injury, an eating disorder and mental issues. This is a welcome return to acting for the 21 year old.

Rivera was at the VMAs last weekend when reporters asked started asking her questions about her upcoming single “Sorry,” her fans and what we could expect during the fifth season. When asked what she thought Lovato would add to the show, Rivera expressed her excitement at the characters’ potential relationship.

I mean, she’s playing my love interest, so I’m very, very excited about that. We get to sing a song together. It’s gonna be good. I’m excited to work with her. We’re bringing her to the dark side. Well, she comes in in a Beatles episode, so [we’re singing] a Beatles song. I’m excited.

While Glee has a huge amount of problems and has had more than its fair share of bad episodes,  Glee has earned a particular brand of resentment for its long track record of mistreating its queer women characters. Although Brittany and Santana first talked about having sex with each other in Season One and admitted to each other that they loved one another in Season Two, they didn’t actually kiss on screen until the thirteenth episode of Season Three. Additionally, the show has repeatedly denied the existence of bisexuals and treated Santana’s being outed as though it wasn’t the huge, horrible deal that it was. And then there’s the way the show repeatedly misgenders, insults and uses slurs and tired stereotypes against Unique and other trans* characters. I’m hoping for the absolute best for Lovato’s character and her relationship with Santana, but I’m also crossing every finger and toe that I have.


Coming soon to your TV, sorta

The inclusion of this storyline for Santana could be a step in the right direction. Santana and Brittany’s break up last season left many fans heartbroken and angry. And that’s after many fans were already fed up with the way the show’s writers had been treating Santana. If Ryan Murphy and company can give Santana a real, meaningful relationship without being afraid to let them show affection on screen, it might give us a reason to keep watching. Also, by adding another queer woman of color, Glee, despite everything else, continues to have one of the most diverse casts on all of TV. The fact that they continue to misuse that cast is another story all together. That being said, Demi Lovato and Naya Rivera playing a pair of singing, dancing Latina lesbian lovers is surely the stuff of dreams. Let’s knock on wood in the hopes that it doesn’t turn into a nightmare in the hands of the Glee writing staff.

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Mey Rude is a fat, trans, Latina lesbian living in LA. She's a writer, journalist, and a trans consultant and sensitivity reader. You can follow her on twitter, or go to her website if you want to hire her.

Mey has written 572 articles for us.


  1. in what’s probably against my better judgement, i’m so super excited about this. word on the street is their first duet is in demi’s first ep and is “here comes the sun,” which makes me even MORE excited. so many feels.


  3. YES YES YES!!! I am ignoring the hell out of the rumours that Demi’s character is being rewritten! Please say it isn’t so!!!

    Personally I hated Brittana and I was very happy to see them break up but at the same time I was disappointed in the way that I was worried we would never see Santana date again, and the decrease of lesbian representation. I kind of thought Bram was cute but the lesbian blogger comment and Heather’s comments about Brittana after the break up really annoyed me. I really hope Glee can do something awesome with the 6 episodes (of course Demi’s contract could be expanded if she has the time).

    Can’t wait to just hear them duet together full stop!

  4. Well, I’m excited for the recaps, if not the show! I don’t trust Glee, but do trust Autostraddle to bring the hilarity, the analysis, the frothing rage, and the important bits.

  5. DAMN IT!!!! and i had finally resolved not to watch Glee this season! Now I have to, hopefully to view some awesome queer storylines on tv, but more likely (because Ryan Murphy and patriarchy) I will be tuning into to watch the trainwreck commence and bemoan this travesty of a show in the Gleecaps comment section.

  6. sorry, but I checked out after the clusterfuck that was “i kissed a girl” and the aftermath of that
    I will watch on youtube the edited version with the santana parts only

  7. I love me some Demi Lovato so this is great news for me. I did say I was done with Glee but Demi playing Santana’s love interest means I will at least watch the 6 episodes she appears in. I knew it was only a matter of time before Demi did something lesbian.

    Oh, and Demi’s album is actually pretty damn good. Shocked the hell out of me last night when I listened to it. She’s actually good.

  8. I continue to be really sad about the common hatred of Glee. Has it fucked up? Yeah, just ask me how mad I am about Artie repeatedly walking, but. A lot of the things it’s accused of, it isn’t doing. Glee didn’t erase bisexuality. An ignorant statement was made by Kurt. Santana being outed wasn’t minimized by the show, but rather some of the characters. Etc. And I want to cry every time someone says Brittany and Sam dating is problematic, because look, when one disabled kid helps another remember to eat breakfast, I just. It is deeply moving to see someone like you on the screen, and have it be an everyday occurrence instead of a tragedy.

    Anyway! Reaction to actual news is excited screaming. (I have all spoilers blocked on Tumblr, so I did not get the news because it doesn’t distinguish between casting spoilers and every last detail of the plot spoilers.) Ahh, it will be really exciting to see a character pursue a music career that isn’t Broadway too. (Also. Class issues that Glee hints at. Santana puts up a front of being all “Lima Heights Adjacent ghetto” despite the fact that her dad is a well-off doctor to be tough, and the possibility of a love interest demolishing that is kind of amazing.)

    • Honestly I quite liked Bram. I thought it was a much more equal relationship than Brittana, and they were sweet and well matched. I never thought Brittany and Santana were compatible, and nor did I think Brittany loved Santana the same way that Santana loved her.

      At the same time I can see why in terms of representation people talked about it being problematic – they kissed, sang romantic duets and had Brittany and Sam forget that they were in love before each other way more than Brittana did in their longer relationship. Also the complete retcon of Sam and Mercedes relationship – the complaints didn’t just come from Brittana shippers but Samcedes too.

  9. I’ve never been a huge glee fan, but maybe I need to try.
    Maybe I need to try really hard.

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