The reality star, who grew up on a halting site in Ballymun, publicly came out in front of millions of viewers on the 17th series of Big Brother and struck up a romance with fellow contestant Ryan Rutledge.
Six years have passed since Hughie first told the world he was gay on TV, but he still receives heaps of horrific messages about his sexuality and looks.
“I get it really bad sometimes, a lot of really bad abuse online,” he told
“Some of the stuff that I’ve had to face over the years has been vile. Homophobia, fat-shaming, making fun of my hairline. It’s why I’ve had plastic surgery on it.”
He said that he’s even faced bullying within the LGBTQ+ and Travelling communities on top of battling trolls online.
“They call it ‘femme-shaming.’ Like me being a gay man, they say I act too feminine. I’ve had that from a lot of gay people especially.
“I’ve gotten death threats from people in the Travelling community about me being gay too.
“I’ve had a lot of support over the years but I’ve also had a lot of that bulls**t.
“I don’t understand why people feel the need to troll people, to put down people’s achievements, to belittle them, and to deliberately set out to try hurt them.
“I just think it’s disgusting how people act online. It’s pure jealousy. People on social media hide behind a screen and say what they like to you. They’re just imbeciles.”
Hughie said it’s important to not let people’s nasty comments get to him.
“You have to gain a thick skin and not necessarily let it affect your life. The more secure you are, the less it bothers you.
“Now I like my hairline, so if somebody wants to make fun of it on social media, I don’t give a f***.”
The 27-year-old said that he’d like to see more LGBTQ+ representation onscreen, especially on popular reality shows like Love Island.
“To be gay today is very, very normal. I don’t feel like there’s an acceptable prejudice against gay people in society. There’s a lot of allies and people really stand up for gay people these days.
“The more gay people and trans people on TV, [the better]. Seeing people on TV – that's educating you on something being normal which is why you need gay people on [shows like] Love Island.
“It normalises things,” he added.