Hosts of a Sacramento-based radio show apologized Thursday for making offensive comments about transgender people.

“I hurt people,” Arnie States told listeners. “And that wasn't my goal.”

That apology came after gay rights groups decried a May 28 broadcast of the Rob, Arnie & Dawn in the Morning radio show, which airs on KRXQ in Sacramento, where hosts Arnie States and Rob Williams called transgender people “freaks” and “weirdos” during a segment devoted to transgender children.

“If my son, God forbid, if my son put on a pair of high heels, I would probably hit him with one of my shoes,” States told listeners. “I would throw a shoe at him. Because you know what? Boys don't wear high heels. And in my house, they definitely don't wear high heels.”

“[T]hey are freaks,” Williams said. “They are abnormal. Not because they're girls trapped in boys bodies but because they have a mental disorder that needs to be somehow gotten out of them.”

“You got a boy saying, 'I wanna wear dresses.' I'm going to look at him and go, 'You know what? You're a little idiot! You little dumbass! Look, you are a boy! Boys don't wear dresses,'” States said. And about eight minutes later added, “You know, my favorite part about hearing these stories about the kids in high school, who the entire high school caters around, lets the boy wear the dress. I look forward to when they go out into society and society beats them down.”

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) demanded an apology, called the comments “cruel, dehumanizing and defamatory,” and said they promoted “child abuse.”

The apology issued on air Thursday didn't come easily, however. The radio station originally stood by the show's content. And in a follow up show, States defended his comments, called the hubbub that followed “a joke,” and insisted he never advocated child abuse: “I didn't do anything wrong.”

The station said it changed its mind after hearing from hundreds of listeners which mostly sided with GLAAD.

But a mass exodus of major advertisers was already underway when the station announced plans to apologize. According to a GLAAD blog post, eleven major advertisers – including fast food giant McDonald's and Bank of America – pulled out of the show.

The program went off the air for several days before returning Thursday with a show devoted to the topic and featured transgender advocate and Pam's House Blend contributor Autumn Sandeen and Executive Director of TransYouth Family Allies Kim Pearson.

“Our audience made it clear that we had actually made it seem as though we endorse or allow or encourage the harming and abuse of children, the bullying and vilifying of those who are different, and singling out of transgenders for harm,” Williams said.

“I want you to very clearly understand that I proudly and fully apologize for those comments completely,” he added.

“I didn't realize that my words could really affect and hurt as bad and as negatively as they did,” States said. “I hurt people. And that wasn't my goal. I stupidly tried to think that I was entertaining people by the things that I said and I hurt people in the process.”

“I think this is the way we make change – and we don't mean as individuals, but as a community,” Sandeen said after the program. “Humanity won the day. I think that's what worked – we all became humans in the same room instead of stereotypes.”

The Rob, Arnie & Dawn show is owned by co-host Rob Williams.