Katherine Moennig, who plays a girl pretending to be a boy on the WB prep school drama Young Americans, knows firsthand how tough life can be for an androgyne.

"I've gone out as myself, as Kate, and people have thought I've been a guy," the actress confesses to the TV Guide Channel. "And it throws me off a bit. But that's kinda good because it does throw me off. I'm not used to it so I just play along with it and it gives me something to work with."

Moennig, like Oscar-winning Boys Don't Cry star Hilary Swank, spent time preparing for her role by sneaking out into public places in full male makeup. She was fascinated to find that strangers on the street had no idea how to respond to her. "People treat women much more gentle, more careful," says the native New Yorker. "Men in general are much more harsh and brazen [with each other]."

Is there a chance we'll get to see Moennig's Young Americans (Wednesdays, 9 pm/ET) character, Jake, reveal her feminine side anytime soon? "Maybe," she teases. "Wait and watch the show. You'll see!"