At the "happiest place on Earth," Bettye Travis was so focused on her young daughters' visit with Mickey Mouse, Cinderella and Snow White that she did not notice the small group of tourists focusing on her.
They pointed at her 300-pound figure, snickered and slyly stood next to her.
"I told her, 'They're standing around behind you and having pictures taken like you're a freak,' " Linda Moreno, Travis' partner, recalled in an interview last week.
Without swearing or causing a ruckus, Travis and Moreno turned what could have been a painful moment into something else. The two women took their own cameras and aimed them at the people who were photographing Travis, "until they got the message," Moreno said.
Soon the shutterbugs slinked away, ashamed. And the Travis-Moreno family continued having fun at Disneyland.
That was the way Travis, a clinical psychologist with a long history of activism, fought her battles. She challenged conventional wisdom about being overweight. Through her role as president and a board member of the National Assn. to Advance Fat Acceptance, she stood her ground in debates with radio shock jocks and responded to criticism from the public in a bid to lessen the stigma and ridicule that come with being fat, a term she used with no shame.