Accountability For Actions!!!

Dave Scott

Dave’s Write Away 

By Dave Scott, Host, Spaced Out Radio


It’s with great regret that I am having to write this but it is very necessary to do so. I am not perfect, nor do I pretend to be. Like many of you, in the past, I have used language and slurs in a previous time that are no longer conducive to the era we now live in. I have always thought of myself as an open minded and caring individual who has never been brought up with hate regarding both racism and sexual orientation. I have close family members who’ve come out about their sexuality. I have family, like my aunt; my mother’s adopted sister, who is black. Working in radio in Vancouver, with many colleagues who are openly and privately part of the LBGTQ community that has never bothered me nor should it have. To each their own! This world is a big enough place, and life is hard enough to where we all deserve happiness. We all deserve to be loved and to show love back. We all deserve to be treated humanely! I understand that life, especially right now, is not easy for many of us out there. Look what’s going on in the world! It’s pretty easy to tell that change is definitely necessary for us as people to unite! 

That being said, I made a mistake that I am going to stand up and be accountable for. On May 27th, 2019, I was conducting a live audio test with Chuck, my audio director, and Richard Giordano, who was helping us on the Skype end. During this time, I made a comment using the word ‘gay’, in regard to the technology not working properly and lack of audio quality. A video, on Saturday, June 20th, 2020 has since come out regarding what I said.

Rich was speaking about audio contamination, and at this frustrating point, in trying to bring some light heartedness to the stressful audio test, I stated to Rich, “Sounds like you have some gay happening over there.” To which Rich replied, “It could be quite a bit of gay somewhere.” I then responded, “I don’t care what anybody says, using the word ‘gay’ as an insult still works for me.”

Now in my mind, I was not nor would I ever use the term ‘gay’ as an insult the LBGTQ community in any way, shape or form. Like I’ve stated, I love too many people in my personal life and around Spaced Out Radio who have struggled with stigmas and their own personal anxieties due to the societal stress they’ve encountered on a daily basis. It’s not fair nor is it right. My choice of words in this instance, were and are less than flattering. In fact, looking at it again, it’s disgusting.

I learned this lesson last year, when a very close family member, who identifies as pan-sexual, took me to task on the very language I used above. She explained to me how it made her feel. Because I love this person, I felt her pain and understood the ramifications my ‘old-school’ vocabulary had on her. I vowed to change and eliminate those types of sayings moving forward, understanding the real affect and impact it can have on people, even if I didn’t mean it as an insult towards anyone in the LBGTQ community. Once again, I state, I am not perfect and I understand fully that sayings, slang and other comments I grew up with in the 80’s and 90’s are no longer acceptable in today’s maturing and growing communities. Frankly, I believe we are better off without those terms being used.

As someone who suffers from depression and anxiety, I know all too well how words can hurt. I know personally what it’s like to be bullied to the point of being suicidal. Over the years, I tried to end it all twice, before asking for help, counseling and guidance to steer me into a proper direction. Along the way in my 47-years, I’ve had to grow up and realize that if words hurt me, my words can hurt others as well. It’s what I have gone to counseling for in the past. It’s what I seek spiritual counseling for every now and again, from those within my inner circle now.

The irony of this all is I have always strived to make Spaced Out Radio a safe place for everyone to listen. It’s never mattered to me where you as listeners and followers stand politically. It’s never mattered to me what the colour of your skin is. As well, it’s never mattered to me what your sexual orientation is either. Why? Because in the end, we are all humans living a strange experience on a strange planet we call earth. I’ve always worked hard at treating our listeners with love and respect because you’ve chosen to use your time to spend it with me. Please know that our chat rooms, and Twitter handle is a place where everyone has the freedom to be who they are because we’re all here for one thing, and that’s enjoying the ‘Woo’ and the spooky, surreal stories and research our guests bring nightly. That will continue. To the members of the LBGTQ community please know that you are always welcomed with open arms as guests, listeners and followers of Spaced Out Radio. And please understand that we have never in our five and a half years, discriminated against any listener or guest because of their sexual orientation or colour of their skin. Nor would we ever. This is a show for everyone.

From the bottom of my heart, I apologize and take responsibility for my inept choice of words. At no time was it directed towards a wonderful community of people who deserve the same right I have to live, love and be cherished! I understand that there will be people angry with my actions, including some guests of the show who may refuse to come on now, but all I can ask is forgiveness and understanding. I promise to continue to work hard as a public figure for you!

I am sorry that my actions, lack of compassion and horrible use of the English language failed many of you and broke your trust.

For any current or former guest or listener who’d like to have a personal conversation with me regarding this, please contact me privately to discuss this matter.

Author: Gail Hodson Shirk

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