Episode 58

#58 T.J. Raphael (BioHacked: Family Secrets): Brooklyn moms, "monogamish," T9 texting

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, @sydneybattle on Twitter and @sydbattle on Instagram
  • Someone she doesn't know, but wants to be friends with: Dan Savage, @dansavage on Instagram and Facebook, and @fakedansavage on Twitter
  • Someone she just started following: Kenzo Mizumoto, @kenzomizumoto on TikTok and Instagram
  • Someone who makes the internet a better place: Christi Steyn, @christi.steyn on TikTok and Instagram

Thank you to our amazing patrons: Jon, Justin, Amy, Yoichi, Elizabeth, Sylnai, and Matthias. On 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.


This show is a production of Lightningpod.fm, hosted and produced by Eric Johnson

Music: Yona Marie

Show art: Dodi Hermawan

Social media producer: Sydney Grodin

About the Podcast

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Follow Friday
The podcast about who you should follow online

About your host

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Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson is the founder of the independent podcast studio/consultancy LightningPod, and the former producer of the award-winning tech podcast Recode Decode with Kara Swisher.

LightningPod works with creators of all backgrounds and experience levels to help them achieve their podcasting goals. You can learn more at lightningpod.fm/hire-us