This article is a part of Be Money – The first LGBTQ bank in the USA.
Team Spotlight: Billie Simmons – Head of Community
Billie Simmons (she/her) is Be Money’s Head of Community. Previously at Techstars and Anthemis group, she has spoken on LGBT+ initiatives in mental health and technology at, amongst others, Google, WeWork and Computer Weekly. Get to know her below.
What steps led you to Be Money?
I was building an app to help trans and non-binary people access safe services (inspired by my experiences as a trans woman), and doing talks and panels about mental health, the LGBT+ community and technology. I actually met Rob, our CEO, at one of these panels and that’s how I first heard about Be Money.
Before that I worked mostly in the fintech sector, either at VCs/incubators or at early stage startups, so this really is my sweet spot!
When was the first time you thought about money?
I remember getting my first job at 14 delivering a free newspaper and being so excited to get my first pay packet. £30 seemed like so much money! I was saving up for my first MacBook so I could record music on it.
What was your “aha” moment with money?
It took me a while to have a healthy relationship with money. When I was a teenager it was always burning a hole in my pocket. When I started my transition I got into a lot of credit card debt in order to cover the expenses because I treated it like free money, rather than as a way to build credit, or to temporarily bridge expenses.
My aha moment came when I realized that this wasn’t a viable option long term and saw my credit score dwindling. Learning how to consolidate my debt at lower interest rates was really helpful both for my mental health, and my finances!
What do you do outside of work?
I have a musical background, so I enjoy writing and making music and I also sing in choirs. I’m also a big sci-fi and fantasy reader, so I’m always working on something. I just finished reading Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments.
Favorite LGBT+ business?
I just bought some prints from Ashley Lukashevsky who is an amazing artist based in LA. I’ve been a fan of hers for years!