Costumed fans put a gender spin on classic characters

Story highlights

"Cosplay" -- portraying a character -- grows in popularity at fan conventions

Dressing as a character of opposite sex is a trend in fan culture

It's more rare to see men than women participate in this crossplay

"I welcome all the change a female Doctor (Who) might bring," video editor says

CNN  — 

It’s a full-blown identity crisis but in a good way.

For fans of pop culture, the art of “cosplay” – portraying a character, usually at a fan convention – continues to grow in popularity.

You’re liable to run into a few constants (slave Leia, the Heath Ledger Joker, Marvel Comics’ Deadpool) when wandering the halls of any convention such as Atlanta’s Dragon Con, held last weekend, as well as works of stunning originality.

It’s certainly not unusual to see someone cosplaying Castiel, Misha Collins’ popular characters from TV’s “Supernatural.” What is out of the ordinary is to see a woman portraying the character.

Alyssa Carson took on “Castiella” at the convention, seeing it as an interesting challenge to translate a male into a female character.

“What I like about putting a twist on a character is that you can take your favorite character and add your own personal style or take on that character,” she said.