When her college friend Amber invited her to the beach five years ago, T.J. Raphael had no idea that saying "yes" would change the course of her career. On the beach, Amber told T.J. about discovering — thanks to an at-home DNA kit — that her biological father was not the man who helped raised her. Instead, her "bio-dad" was a formerly anonymous sperm donor, and Amber was not his only child finding out about him.
Reporting out the story of Amber's parentage opened the door to all kinds of stories about the "baby business," which T.J. explores in her acclaimed new podcast BioHacked: Family Secrets.
Today on Follow Friday, T.J. talks about the reporting process for BioHacked as well as four of her favorite people she follows online:
Someone who makes her laugh: Sydney Battle, https://twitter.com/sydneybattle/ (@sydneybattle) on Twitter and https://www.instagram.com/sydbattle/ (@sydbattle) on Instagram
Someone she doesn't know, but wants to be friends with: Dan Savage, @dansavage on https://www.instagram.com/dansavage/ (Instagram) and https://www.facebook.com/DanSavage (Facebook), and https://twitter.com/fakedansavage (@fakedansavage) on Twitter
Someone she just started following: Kenzo Mizumoto, @kenzomizumoto on https://www.tiktok.com/@kenzomizumoto/ (TikTok) and https://www.instagram.com/kenzomizumoto/ (Instagram)
Someone who makes the internet a better place: Christi Steyn, @christi.steyn on https://firstname.lastname@example.org/ (TikTok) and https://www.instagram.com/christi.steyn/ (Instagram)
Thank you to our amazing patrons: Jon, Justin, Amy, Yoichi, Elizabeth, Sylnai, and Matthias. On https://www.patreon.com/followfriday (our Patreon page), you can pledge any amount of money to get access to Follow Friday XL — our members-only podcast feed with exclusive bonus follows.
That feed has an extended-length version of this interview in which T.J. talks about someone super-talented who's still under the radar: Comedian Shelby Wolstein.
Follow T.J. on Twitter https://twitter.com/TJRaphael (@tjraphael), and listen to https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/id1607121653 (BioHacked: Family Secrets)
Follow us @FollowFridayPod on https://twitter.com/followfridaypod (Twitter) and https://www.instagram.com/followfridaypod/ (Instagram)
Follow Eric https://twitter.com/HeyHeyESJ (@heyheyesj) on Twitter
This show is a production of Lightningpod.fm, hosted and produced by Eric Johnson
Music: https://www.fiverr.com/yonamarie (Yona Marie)
Show art: https://www.fiverr.com/dodiihr (Dodi Hermawan)
Social media producer: Sydney Grodin