How Cosplay Shaped Alexa Heart's Identity -- and Changed Her Life (VIDEO)

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Anime St. Louis kicks off its tenth annual event this weekend. But cosplayers have been getting ready for quite some time now.

In fact, in early April, Hayden Brown, whose cosplay name is "Alexa Heart," led a workshop at the Midwest Costume Academy, teaching participants how to construct and improve their costume play attire. Brown was a judge for Mid Con Comic Show last year and is featured talent in this year's Gen Con.

In our exclusive video, shot by Stephanie Zimmerman, Brown explains how cosplay has transformed her and given her a new, more comfortable identity as a transgender female.

Anime St. Louis will be held April 17 to 19 at the Gateway Center in Collinsville, Illinois. Pre-registration is closed, but you can get tickets the door. See the convention's website for more information.

Check out the Riverfront Times video library online.

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