Wendell “Skoota” Whitfield
Favorite Quote: “Freedom is being yourself without permission.”
My name is Wendell “skoota” Whitfield and I’m a 28-year-old, African-American gay male. I’m also a professional dancer, choreographer, actor and pose coach. I’ve been dancing for about 11 years.
I’m a Houston native born June 25, and I grew up in Fifth Ward on the city’s northeast side. I studied dance at Texas Southern University under Theodesia Drummer. We did all the BCDE( black college dance exchange) were later discovered by Harrison Guy, the director of Urban Souls Dance Company. I later started training at Banbury School of Ballet. I also did many summer intensives, for which I had to audition, such as Alvin Ailey, Debbie Allen, Pulse and many more. I always wanted to be in the music industry, so I decided to work with artists and things have taken off ever since. I worked with people such as Just Brittany, Varrie V., Damien and Biannca ( D&B Nation), Princess Richie , VH1 Love and Hip Hop, Travis Scott and Drake (“Sicko Mode”) and many more.
I previously attended Texas Southern University, but my dancing career took off and became my top priority. But I’m going back to college, PERIOD. My goals are to win a Grammy, an Oscar, a Tony, an Emmy and many more and to become a fixture in the industry.
My family slowly adjusted to me coming out as gay, and I hate to put it like this, but since I’m not “femme” and act masculine, it was kind of easy. But, my dad? I had to throw witchcraft on him. I’m kidding, lol. But I did pray, and prayer works. My mom was more settled with it. She really didn’t say much. She just told me to be careful. My brother was cool and understanding. I just had to teach him a few things but he learned pretty fast. He even knows all the lingo, so you can’t pull anything on him.
My friend Quinn told me about the PrIDE campaign and I was like, “OK. Whatever, I’ll go.” So, I went and that’s when I realized there was more to it. After learning more about the campaign’s purpose, I thought, “OK, I’ll do it ‘cause it’s a matter of helping people and possibly saving lives. You never know who’s watching.”
It’s good to take PrEP because it makes sex safer, in case you slip up. I’m on PrEP and I pop my “skittles” every day. BING! I think it’s super-important to get tested, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. HIV does not discriminate. Period!
When I hear “live healthy, live longer” it means to basically take care of yourself. Living healthy doesn’t mean you’re talking about your physical health along. You must be healthy in all areas in life.
And “I’m here, I exist, I matter,” means exactly how you read it. Period!