UK Black Pride, the world’s largest volunteer-led organisation celebrating African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American and Caribbean-heritage LGBTQIA+ people, has launched 16th Century Life Expectancy. This campaign, created by award-winning agency McCann London, raises awareness of the dangers of misinformation spreading about the Black trans community and asks for improved access to healthcare for trans people.

One of the most harmful pieces of misinformation states Black trans women have a life expectancy of just 35. This bleak life expectancy statistic first arose when a report compiled by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights found that the average age of trans homicide victims in South America was between 30 and 35. Although a very real and shocking statistic for that specific group, it has since been extrapolated, misappropriated, and shared across social media fuelling a rippling effect of fear for a vulnerable section of society.

Trans people are two and a half times more likely to be victims of violence than cisgender people and as harmful anti-trans rhetoric like “trans people are a new phase”, “trans people are problematic”, “trans people are infiltrating woman’s spaces” intensify, so too do the threats to trans people and those who support them.

McCann London’s creative idea sees five leaders of the Black trans community reimagined as paintings from the 16th Century, which was a period in history where the life expectancy was just 35, with the aim of sparking conversation and debate around misinformation and the harm it can do.

The five individuals featured in the exhibition are: Talulah Eve (the first transgender woman on Britain’s Next Top Model), Amani Cosmo, Ebun Sodipo, Mzz Kimberley, /and Rico Jacob Chace. Their portraits were revealed at an exhibition hosted by world-renowned auction house Christie’s as a part of their ‘Christie’s Lates London: Pride’ showcase. The exhibition will continue to exist via an online gallery on where the trans rights the campaign is lobbying for, ways people can join the fight, historical context and more examples of misinformation around the trans community, can be accessed.

Find out more on McCann London.