Davis Atkin is on track to realize his athletic dream and compete for a spot on Australia’s national field hockey team. But as confident as he feels on the pitch, he’s happiest when he swaps out his stick for some killer eyeliner.
Atkin was recently named to Australia’s under-21s squad, along with other young elite hockey players throughout the country. Growing up as a soccer player, Atkin’s switch to hockey was relatively seamless. He loves playing against the best competition around.
But his hockey journey hit an unexpected obstacle last year when his psychologist accidentally outed him to his coach. The mistake put Atkin in a bad place, forcing him to confront the challenges of being an out hockey player before he was ready.
He needed a strong foundation to build himself back up, and knew exactly where to find it.
His makeup drawer.
“Last year I was in a pretty dark place,” he said. “Coming and doing that sort of stuff — it’s almost like a relaxation thing, because I don’t have to worry about doing anything else. I’m doing something I love, and it’s just a place where I get to be myself. There’s no one else there looking at me. It’s just me and my phone.”
There will be plenty of eyeballs on Atkin when he takes the pitch this season for his club team, the Western Districts. While he’s still wrapping his head around being a prominent out gay athlete, he’s becoming more comfortable with the responsibility. Recently, Atkin opened up to The Canberra Times about his newfound trailblazer status.
More than anything, he wants to be the role model he lacked.
“If I was somebody looking at myself, I think it would be pretty inspiring to have someone who’s going up the ranks who’s openly gay and talking about it as well,” he told Outsports.
Though Atkin is still grappling with how to showcase his sexuality in the field hockey world, he’s more than comfortable revealing his true self to the social media masses. His Instagram page boasts more than 11,900 followers, and nothing but photos of Atkin trying on his favorite skincare products.
There’s no fancy studio or camera configuration. Atkin sits in front of his iPhone, and showcases himself to the world.
“Just putting on makeup and making your face look different — making it look really juicy — it’s amazing,” he said. “We love a glowing face.”
Yes we do. As Atkin becomes more at ease with his sexuality in all areas of his life, his shine promises to only grow brighter.
“When I show my true self in hockey I actually play better, which is pretty indicative,” he said. “I definitely should try to do that more, I think.”
You can follow Atkin on Instagram here.