GIMP layers with alpha?

Using GIMP I have a bunch of layers each with a photo image. I have scaled all the pics to the same size and added a layer alpha to each. But when I isolate a layer for saving all I get is a PNG with a hole in it. I want the alpha and the complete layer that goes with it, all I get is the background.

How can I save a layer so that I get the alpha (to turn on or off in Blender) and the images background?

I don’t want to flatten the image every time I save out.

Sounds like your alpha channel is inverted.

I do get the right cut out shape, so it is not inverted. It’s just that my PNG image only shows the cutout with a white background (or hole if alpha over is on).

How could I export a layer with the alpha BUT with the rest of the layer in tact (not white in the hole cutter)?

Just tried it myself. When trying to save the layer with layer mask as .png it says “Layer mask not supported by png plugin”.
Try saving as tiff or tga.