A Story of Faith, Identity, and Authenticity
“Cynthia Vacca Davis’s Intersexion is a profoundly eye opening, challenging, and ultimately inspiring exploration. . .”
—Rev. Brandan Robertson, author of Dry Bones and Holy Wars: A Call for Social and Spiritual Renewal
So many of us are finding ourselves at an intersection where we must pick either the safety of our communities or stepping into life as our true selves. It can be a defining moment, and sometimes one that our very lives depend upon.
Intersexion is a life-giving true story about choosing between social acceptance or health, fear or authenticity. Cynthia, an adjunct professor with a trunk full of ungraded papers and snack wrappers, has been an LGBTQIA+ ally for years—in convenient ways. She enjoys the company of her queer friends—but her support isn’t risky; it hasn’t cost her anything. Until she meets Danny. The youngest child in a conservative evangelical family, Danny played the role of dutiful daughter—Dani, with an “i”—which was safer than jeopardizing faith and family. Seemingly born female, yet desperate to be seen as the boy and then man he truly is, Danny kept playing along, until his life and health depended on one thing: the truth.
Told in both Danny’s and Cynthia’s voices, Intersexion is a moving, hopeful exploration of the cost of being known—as an intersex minority, ally, or asker of difficult questions—and what it means to come into one’s own. It’s a book for so many of us who are desperately craving a more authentic life, and a story about the intersections we find ourselves in by no choice of our own.
Named in the Top 34 LGTBQ Christian Books of 2022 by Q Spirit
Selected for Season Six of the Unashamed Love Collective
Praise for Intersexion:
The Christian life is shaped by testimonies of how God is at work in our lives–saving us, leading us; oftentimes, leading us through shadowed valleys. Danny and Cynthia share their testimonies of lives lived in service of churches and Christian institutions that ultimately failed to live up to the command Jesus gave us–to love our neighbors as ourselves. They call us to the hard but healing road of living the truth in love.
Megan K. DeFranza, PhD, author of Sex Difference in Christian Theology: Male, Female, and Intersex in the Image of God
Intersexion is like and unlike any book I have read. Like, in that it includes three genres that are growing today—memoirs by LGBTQIA people, accounts of post-evangelical exiles, and horror stories from frustrated academics trying to enter an academy that has no good place for them. Unlike, in that this dual memoir stunningly brings these three genres together with tremendous power and pathos, and offers the most compelling and informative account of the intersex experience that I have ever seen. In the end, Intersexion teaches the centrality of courageous authenticity in settings where such authenticity is punished. Often, those setting are Christian. This book is a triumph.
David Gushee, Professor of Christian Ethics, author of Changing Our Mind: The Landmark Call for Inclusion of LGBTQ Christians
Intersexion is a reminder that in a world fighting for black and white answers, authenticity is most often found in a variety of colors and hues. Danny and Cynthia’s story shows that the journey toward acceptance can in one moment bring about absolute freedom and in the next crushing loss. This is not simply a memoir, but a direct challenge for all of us to live unafraid of who we truly are.
Matt Kendziera, host of Chasing Goodness Podcast
Intersexion has so much heart and depth with Cynthia Vacca Davis weaving together two stories of courage and vision. The reader is often challenged to examine the accepted norms of identity, careers, and faith, to keep up with the protagonists’ journeys. This is a good thing. These stories can inspire us to find a way forward with integrity and empathy.
Scott Okamoto, Chapel Probation Podcast
The stories of intersex individuals are some of least understood and least heard in our world. Cynthia Vacca Davis’s Intersexion is a profoundly eye opening, challenging, and ultimately inspiring exploration of the journey of an intersex individual and what it means to be a true ally to this often misunderstood and severely marginalized community. With beautiful prose and masterful storytelling, Cynthia Vacca Davis has offered us a true gift in Intersexion.
Rev. Brandan Robertson, Author of Dry Bones and Holy Wars: A Call for Social and Spiritual Renewal
You’ve never read a book like this before. I hadn’t. A gripping memoir with a twist, combining two unlikely stories—of an intersex man finding himself and being found by a writer who tells his story alongside her own. Because we are going through this transformation together in hopes that, one day, everyone’s story may be told and we can stop being strangers to ourselves and to each other.
Ken Wilson, pastor of Blue Ocean Church Ann Arbor and author of A Letter to My Congregation, and co-author, with Emily Swan, of Solus Jesus: A Theology of Resistance
Cynthia’s memoir tells us what it feels like inside the daily lives of both her friend and herself and their families—when faced with the harsh reality of Evangelical judgment. And, even though this particular book is about exclusion due to gender and sexuality, this echoes stories about exclusion due to race or ethnicity or simply an openness to questioning the almost fundamentalist doctrines held by many Evangelicals in America. (Read the full review here.)
David Crumm, Editor, Read the Spirit
Paperback: $18.95, 9781957687063
eBook: $9.99, 9781957687070
Intersexion—with an x—is a limited-edition podcast featuring conversations with special guests around the book’s central themes of authenticity, identity, community, and allyship. So much happens at intersections: meet ups, near misses, collision. This intersection is a place where people and ideas come together, where stories are told and perspectives shift.
Cynthia Vacca Davis is a semi-salty adjunct English professor with a trunk full of papers and snack wrappers. She holds an MFA in creative nonfiction, leads workshops, has written hundreds of feature stories, and has two independently published young adult novels, The Chrysalis and Drink the Rain. When she’s not home in coastal VA with her husband, pets, and students, she can often be found French Quarter of New Orleans in search of jazz and parades. Subscribe to her newsletter or follow her on social media at cynthiavaccadavis.com.
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